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Unknown beginnings

Editor’s Note: Lumberjack reporter Ju’Wan Murphy is on the Humboldt State University football team.

After the final game against Simon Frasier, Humboldt State University coaches set up a showcase to help players show off their talents

Forty plus coaches came from near and far to scout HSU football players as they showcased their agility and athleticism. Coaching staff, Josh Irvin helped set up the event for his players.

“It was an opportunity for college players to perform and interact with teammates, regardless if they weren’t able to play in games this year,” Irvin said. “They’ve fought for me all year long, and I’m not going to stop fighting for them until they found a new home.”

The coaching staff also sent out an updated list to almost every college in the nation. The list had athletic accomplishments, academics, and eligibility standing. Players, fortunately will not receive the normal transfer penalty of being forced to sit out a year. Instead, they will be granted full access as soon as they enroll in the new college. Players also met with the compliance officer to explain the process. Irvin believes the showcase went well and is committed to mentoring players that need it.

“It’s always an honor when players trust you enough to ask your opinion about the future,” Irvin said.

The next few weeks are critical for players because, decisions will be made and new homes must be decided. Many factors are at play for athletes including year, eligibility, out of state tuition, and scholarships. All this before they step on their new team’s field.

For junior defensive back Ereon Nash, the time of football ending isn’t ideal. He’ll have to navigate credits and scholarships he’s received are all out of state schools in South Carolina, Nebraska, and Colorado. Nash had a season in which his numbers doubled in important defensive back stats like pass deflections and tackles.

“I got to make the best of it,” Nash said. “My plan is to go somewhere my units transfer over so I’m not too far behind in school and where I would be good financially.”

Family is also important to Nash’s decision because of the distance away from home.

“My family thinks this whole situation is unfortunate but they will support me no matter where I choose,” Nash said. “I’m still undecided if I want to leave in January or after the spring semester.”

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HSU Lumberjack gets tackled by Western Oregon opponent on Oct. 27. | Photo by Matt Shiffler.

Other players like redshirt sophomore linebacker Demetrick Watts could find success in the change due to his eligibility for two more years. Watts had a breakout season getting his first opportunity this year to start all 10 games and left his mark in all of those in some fashion. Watts finished this season with one defensive touchdown, second in tackles, and made the first team all-conference.

“The situation that happened with the program is messed up, I’m the type of person to finish what I start and I won’t be able to do that here,” Watts said.

His decisions during the break will be looking over his official division two offers from Central Washington, Central Missouri, and the University of Central Oklahoma. These schools are a high caliber of division two football but Watts will wait till just past Christmas to decide. The division one schools are his main focus right now because of the year he had at the Redwood Bowl.

“Just keeping my options open,” Watts said. “Sam Houston, Portland State, and Samford are on the list.”

Freshman defensive lineman Tajma Magee was a walk-on in the spring earned his playing time this fall and has to start that process all over again. Magee is not like Watts or Nash who was recruited, he chose Humboldt out of high school for academics. Magee had a nice spring which propelled him to come back in the fall and for the 2018 season. Now Magee is just like the other athletes searching for a new home. Magee has been in contact with a few schools but the only schools that offered scholarships are Ottawa University, Tabor College, and Kansas Wesleyan University.

Even though Magee has to start his recruitment process all over it he feels like it’s an honor being wanted by other universities after overcoming everything he has been through.

“Coming out of high school I didn’t really have any schools interested,” Magee said. “Now having the opportunity to have school paid for is a blessing in disguise.”

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Redwood Bowl is nearly empty at HSU football program comes to an end. | Photo by Amanda Schultz.

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