College notes: EMU loses two starting QBs to portal; Creighton gets extra year

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan is looking for its next starting quarterback.

Ben Bryant, the senior who led the Eagles to a 7-5 regular season and a spot in a bowl game, entered the transfer portal Monday.

That makes Bryant the second EMU QB to leave the program in the last week, after junior Preston Hutchinson, the starter in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, entered the portal Dec. 21.

Quarterback Ben Bryant has entered the transfer portal.

Bryant played just one season at Eastern Michigan, after transferring from Cincinnati. His next move could require him to sit out a season since he's already moved once, unless he receives a waiver.

Bryant threw for 3,121 yards and 14 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, in 2021, which ended with a 56-20 loss to Liberty in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Dec. 18. Bryant also rushed for two touchdowns this season.

After transferring from Cincinnati, Bryant took over the starting role from Hutchinson, who started all six games in 2020, throwing for 1,662 yards and 12 touchdowns, with six interceptions. He rushed for two touchdowns in 2020, and saw limited action in 2021.

The departures leave three quarterbacks on Eastern Michigan's roster, with sophomores Baron May and Austin Smith most likely to get a look for the starting gig next season. Christopher Kaminski, a sophomore, is a former walk-on. The Eagles didn't sign any quarterbacks during the early signing period, so coach Chris Creighton could amp up efforts on that front or turn to the transfer portal again, like he did with Bryant.

Six Eastern Michigan players entered the portal this month, including receiver Latrell Fordham (Davison).

One Eagle who isn't going anywhere is Creighton, 52, whose bowl appearance earned him an extra year on his contract under the new deal he signed this past summer. He's now under contract through 2026.

Six players entered the portal rom Western Michigan, most notably receiver Jaylen Hall (Macomb Dakota) and tight end Athony Torres. Central Michigan, which will play in the Sun Bowl on Friday against Washington State, lost five players since the end of the regular season, including defensive lineman Amir Siddiq (Dearborn Fordson), linebacker Tico Brown and former Washington quarterback Jacob Sirmon.

EMU lacrosse loses coach

The women's lacrosse team at Eastern Michigan hasn't even played a game yet, and it's already looking for a new coach with Alicia Groveston Jackson resigning earlier this month. The school said she is leaving for a "position for a family opportunity out of state."

Allison Lane has been named interim coach, and a national search is under way for a full-time replacement.

The women's lacrosse team, EMU's 19th varsity sport, begins play in the 2022-23 season, with the school adding the sport as part of a 2019 court agreement that allowed for the elimination of the softball program. The Eagles will give the Mid-American Conference a seventh women's lacrosse teams, including Central Michigan and associate member Detroit Mercy.

"I'd like to thank Alicia for helping us start the lacrosse program and for establishing an outstanding foundation of student-athletes that will lead the program into the future," Eastern Michigan athletic director Scott Wetherbee said in a statement. "EMU lacrosse is primed for success on and off the field and I am excited to see this program continue to grow in excellence into the future."

We're running a new-subscriber special. Support local journalism, and subscribe here.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984