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Top 70 MAC Football Players: #28 Darryl Monroe (LB- Akron Zips)

One of Akron's top transfers has broken the top 30 of Hustle Belt's top 70 MAC players.

Mark J. Rebilas (USA TODAY Sports)

Free agency in college football is a very real thing right now. Some call it an epidemic, others call it a blessing. At the end of the day, student athletes deserve the right to go to school and play football wherever they want to.

One of the most common  transfers is the graduate transfer. This is when a student athlete plays at one school, gets his or her degree, and moves on to another school to play with one final year of eligibility.

Darryl Monroe began taking classes at Washington State way back in January of 2011. He was given a medical redshirt for the 2011 season after suffering a season ending Achilles injury in the season opener against Idaho State.

In 2012, Monroe made PAC-12 honorable mention by recording 80 tackles and 3 sacks in his redshirt freshman season. As a sophomore in 2013, Monroe started all 13 of the Cougars' games, and recorded 94 total tackles along with 2 forced fumbles. In his final year as a Washington State Cougar, Monroe recorded 70 tackles and 1.5 sacks, including a sack of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.

After the injury in early 2011, Monroe has stayed almost perfectly healthy (*knocks on wood*). He played in all 37 of Washington State's games, starting 32 of them, including the first 25. Even though he lost five starts in his third year at Wazzu, Monroe is still an excellent fit with the Zips.

The 6-foot-1, 235 pound Orlando, Florida native will start at Mike linebacker for the Zips on September 5 in Norman, Oklahoma against the Oklahoma Sooners. Monroe will play linebacker between other seniors Jatavis Brown and Dylan Evans.

The linebacking corps, as a whole, lost two great players in Justin March and C.J. Mizell, but the addition of Monroe helps to fill part of that void. There is a lack of depth at the linebacker position that hasn't been there for a couple of years now. If they can stay healthy, this could once again be, once again, one of the top linebacking corps in the MAC.

Phil Steele named Monroe third team preseason All-MAC for his final season of eligibility.

At the end of the day, head coach Terry Bowden loves taking in transfers. If you haven't read this article by Bleacher Report on transfers featuring Terry Bowden, you definitely should.

Here are some of Monroe's highlights:

Freshman (2012)

Junior (2014) Music NSFW