Transfer Portal Roundup: MSU Bulldogs Bolt After Arnett Firing

Oct 21, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Zach Arnett talks to an ESPN reporter after a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mississippi State won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Zach Arnett talks to an ESPN reporter after a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mississippi State won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The firing of Mississippi State first-year head coach Zach Arnett on November 13 opened the way for a mass exodus of players who have a 30-day window of opportunity to transfer.

The fall portal window will officially open on Dec. 4, after the final College Football Playoff rankings are announced.

Arnett took over after Mike Leach unexpectedly passed away last December 12. Under Arnett, the Bulldogs defeated Illinois, 19-10, in the ReliaQuest Bowl and finished rated No. 24 by AP. But Mississippi State was 4-6 this year and 1-6 in SEC play when Arnett was fired.

See top transfers in 2023 season

Reports indicate that Bulldog players will be crowding the transfer portal when it opens on Dec. 4.

Wide receivers Nakai Poole and Jacoby Bellazar were among the first to announce on social media that they want to leave. Safety Will James and running back Simeon Price are also ready to bolt.

Poole signed with Mississippi State out of Norcross High in Norcross, Georgia. He was ranked as a three-star recruit and the No. 126 receiver in the country for the class of 2023. Poole caught 53 passes for 803 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in high school. Bellazar caught one pass for 13 yards this season.

James was in his true freshman season after signing with the Bulldogs as part of Arnett’s inaugural recruiting class in 2023.

Price redshirted his freshman year and put up decent numbers in 2022, totaling 150 rushing yards while adding 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. This year he has only five carries. Price played high school football at West Florida Tech (Fla.), where he was a three-star prospect.


Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras entered the NCAA transfer portal as a grad transfer.

The former three-star quarterback played his entire career with Iowa with varying degrees of success.

Petras has not played this season as Iowa opted for transfer Cade McNamara (Michigan), who eventually was lost for the season.

In his five years at Iowa, Petras passed for 5,199 yards, 24 touchdowns, 19 interceptions and a 56.7 percent completion percentage.

As a member of the Class of 2018, Petras was a three-star recruit out of Greenbrae (Calif.) Marin Catholic. According to On3 Sports, he was the No. 48 overall prospect in the state, the No. 34 quarterback in the class and the No. 407 overall prospect in the class.


Florida offensive lineman Jordan Herman plans to enters the transfer portal, according to his tweet Sunday morning following the Gators loss to LSU.

Herman was an unranked recruit out of high school who was slated as a three-star prospect in the 2021. He spent his first year of school at Junior College Hutchinson CC and then transferred to Florida for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, where he saw minimal action. Now, he will move once again and claims to have two more seasons of eligibility left at his next destination


Vanderbilt wide receiver Daveon Walker intends to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal on Dec. 3, according to his Twitter page. Walker made everyone aware of the news on Thursday evening on his Twitter profile.


Former Oklahoma offensive lineman Marcus Hicks has entered the NCAA transfer portal as a graduate transfer. Hicks is already in the midst of his fifth season playing college football and will be looking for a new home in his sixth.

When Coach Brent Venables took over the Oklahoma program, Hicks moved from defensive line to offensive line. He played in two games during the 2022 season but was not on the Sooners’ roster heading into this year.

Hicks played high school football at Wichita (KS) Northwest, where he was a four-star prospect.

By Frank Cooney,

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