Transfer portal players had mixed results after leaving Syracuse

DeVito FSU
Tommy DeVito escapes the pocket during Syracuse's 30-7 win over Florida State. Mandatory Photo Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Though Syracuse finished with its best record since 2018 at 7-6, several key players entered the transfer portal once the season ended, including defensive backs Duce Chestnut and Ja’Had Carter.

With these departures in mind, we checked in on how the 2022 transfers from Syracuse were fairing across college football.

Tommy Devito, QB: The most well known transfer from Syracuse heading into last season was QB Tommy Devito, who was under center for the Orange for four seasons before entering the portal for Illinois. Devito played in the Big 10 and did not disappoint for an overachieving Illinois team. The fifth year senior led the Fighting Illini to the ReliQuest Bowl against Mississippi State and finished 8-5 on the season. Devito threw for 2,650 yards at a 69.6% completion rate, the best numbers of his college career. After losing the starting spot at QB for the Orange to Garrett Shrader, Devito brought Illinois their first winning season in over ten years.

Cooper Lutz, RB: After failing to see much playing time at Syracuse in two seasons with the Orange, running back Cooper Lutz transferred to Vanderbilt. After getting 43 carries in his freshman year at Syracuse, Lutz struggled to get playing time in the SEC. At Vanderbilt last season, he only had 24 rushing yards in total and a touchdown. The senior has one more year of eligibility with the Commodores.

Geoffrey Cantin-Arku, LB: One of the most impactful players following his transfer from Syracuse, Cantin-Arku was with the Orange for three seasons. He had over 100 total tackles during his time at Syracuse with five sacks. He transferred to Memphis, and the LB had a breakthrough season for a struggling Memphis team. Cantin-Arku had 41 solo tackles and the most combined total tackles in his career. He now enters his senior year in position to be an important piece of Memphis’ defense.

Taj Harris, WR: After spending four years at Syracuse, four star recruit Taj Harris went into the transfer portal for his fifth year of eligibility. Harris had over 500 receiving yards in three years at Syracuse, with 733 receiving yards and five touchdowns in his junior year. After transferring to Rutgers, the senior did not see much time on the field.With the Scarlet Knights, he finished with just one reception on the year with minimal playing time and he left the team shortly after for personal reasons.

Jarveon Howard, RB: After receiving limited playing time at Syracuse for three seasons, Howard transferred to Alcorn State. In the SWAC, Alcorn State finished at 5-6 on the year, just missing out on bowl eligibility. The transfer to a mid-major program worked well for Howard. With more opportunities, Howard had 253 carries for over 1,200 rushing yards. He led the way at running back for the Braves with 12 TDs on the year. The RB still can play one year of college football after his senior year with the COVID season.

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Adrian Cole, DB: Following his sophomore campaign at Syracuse, Cole transferred to Florida International for the 2022 season. Cole had his best year while playing for the Panthers at defensive back. Although Florida International went 4-8 in the C-USA, Cole’s decision to transfer saw him with more opportunity on the field, finishing the season with 36 total tackles, a sack, and a defensive TD.

Latarie Kinsler, DL: Kinsler was the second SU player to transfer to Florida International entering the 2022 season. While Kinsler did not see anytime at Syracuse before entering the portal, that changed after the transfer, as he appeared in five games and finished with twenty tackles and a sack. Both defensive linemen transferred to the C-USA in order to get playing time.

Luke Benson, TE: Benson entered the transfer portal for an ACC opponent in Georgia Tech with two years of eligibility remaining. After having less than ten completions in all three seasons for Syracuse, Benson’s time with the Yellow Jackets has been limited as well. With just nine receptions for 85 yards on the whole season, the TE did not see the endzone and has failed to score the past two years.

Curtis Harper, DL: Harper transferred from Syracuse to Akron for the 2022 season. The Zips finished 2-10 on the season but Harper saw the most tackles in a year for his career. With 17 total tackles, Harper finished his college career with eight solo tackles and 2.5 sacks in his last season.

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About Brett Gustin 71 Articles
Brett is from Canastota, NY, and is currently attending Falk college at Syracuse University studying Sports Analytics. Being a Central New York native, Brett has been passionate about Syracuse sports for his whole life. He covers all Syracuse athletics.