A year ago, Samford football coach Chris Hatcher used the transfer portal, mixed in with some key junior college transfers, to help build a roster that won 11 games, captured an outright Southern Conference title for the first time and advanced to the NCAA FCS quarterfinals.

It appears that Hatcher is taking the same approach as last year. Rory Starkey, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound wide receiver graduate transfer from Penn, announced his commitment in late November. In his final three seasons at Penn, Starkey had 119 catches with 14 touchdowns. Samford does have a commitment from high school offensive lineman Tyler Douthit of Woodstock High in Georgia. The 6-5, 280 Douthit announced his commitment on Twitter in early December.

For the most part, though, most of the players who announced on social media that they received an offer from Samford came from the transfer portal or junior college.

Transfer portal

Damion Charity, CB, 6-1, 178, Old Dominion

Frank Lee, OLB, 6-2, 225, Carson-Newman,

Ray Eldridge, DT, 6-4, 310, Richmond

Jeffrey Griffin Jr., DL, 6-0, 301, Northern Illinois

Hayden Harris, DL, 6-5, 260, UCLA  

Cody Jantzen, LB, 6-3, 230, University of Sioux Falls

Gage Larvadain, WR, 5-10, 160, Southeastern Louisiana

James Makszin, DL, 6-3, 290, Rhode Island

Michael Pleas, OLB, 6-3, 232, Jackson State

Jerrad Price, DL, 6-2, 290, Davidson

Lucas Raber, TE, 6-3, 230, Davidson

Omar Rogers, S, 6-0, 200, Elon

Jake Saltonstall, DL, 6-4, 260, New Mexico

Shon Stephens, CB, 6-0, 180, West Liberty

Isaiah Watson, DB, 5-10, 175, Eastern Michigan

Junior college

MarQuez Baxter, OLB/SS, 6-4, 208, NE Oklahoma A&M

T.J. Gilbert, ILB, 6-2, 240, Iowa Central

Jaden Mosley, S, 6-2, 205, Hutchinson CC

Darrian King, OL, 6-4, 310, East Mississippi College

Jamarian Samuel, RB 5-10, 190, Hinds Community College

In other recruiting news:

*Montgomery Catholic’s Josh Palmer said he’s been re-offered by the new UAB coaching staff. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Palmer could play either tight end or wide receiver. He has several reported offers with UAB and Georgia State being the favorites to get his commitment, according to On3 Sports.

*Former Jacksonville State defensive lineman Mitchell Etheridge III is transferring to North Carolina A&T. Etheridge, who graduated from Shades Valley High, played in two games in 2021 as a true freshman and six games this past season. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Etheridge had five tackles in the six games this season but he didn’t play after the overtime win over Kennesaw State on Oct. 1.

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