Malzone, Pimpleton lead MAC football transfers for 2018 season
There is one thing that ties Brock Ruble, Alex Malzone, Tyler Wiegers, Kalil Pimpleton, Ja’Raymond Hall, and Hank Hughes together – transferring into the Mid-American Conference.
Reporter Evan Petzold of Central Michigan Life has broken down those six players, listing them as some of the top transfers coming into the MAC, including two who transferred to Central Michigan University.
Brock Ruble – Florida State to Toledo
The 6-foot-8, 307-pound offensive tackle earned his degree from Florida State will earn his degree following the second semester, but will not be returning to the Seminoles for his fifth-year. As a graduate transfer, Ruble will make the move to Miami (Ohio) to continue his college career.
In 2015-16, Ruble started 13 games. As a redshirt junior, he played in 10 games during the 2016-17 season before being ruled out for the season with a knee injury. He played right tackle, left tackle and guard during his days in Tallahassee.
Alex Malzone – Michigan to Miami (Ohio)
Coming out of Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, Malzone had a similar experience to former student and quarterback Shane Morris. Malzone couldn't get reps at Michigan and decided to transfer.
Malzone's only in-game action was in Michigan’s 2017 victory over Minnesota, but he handed the ball off three straight times on the last possession of the game. Malzone, at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, has two years of eligibility left and will graduate from Michigan in the spring.
Tyler Wiegers – Iowa to Eastern Michigan
At Iowa, Wiegers was stuck behind Jake Rudock in 2014. Then, he was placed as the backup to C.J. Beathard in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Finally, he sat behind Nate Stanley in 2017.
Now, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound graduate transfer quarterback gets a chance to be a starter for Eastern Michigan with Brogan Roback leaving the program due to graduation.
The only other expected competitor at quarterback for the Eagles is Isaac Stiebeling, who saw action late in the season due to Roback’s ankle injury.
Kalil Pimpleton – Virginia Tech to Central Michigan
In his freshman 2017 season for Virginia Tech, Pimpleton played in five games, taking the ball on one carry for four yards. The 5-foot-7, 158-pound wide receiver announced his transfer decision to Central Michigan on Dec. 16.
Pimpleton logged over 2,800 total yards and 43 touchdowns in his career for Muskegon High School — leading them to the MHSAA Division III State Title game in 2016. He was one of five finalists for MLive.com’s Michigan High School Football Player of the Year award.
Ja’Raymond Hall – Michigan to Central Michigan
As a student at Oak Park (Mich.) High School, Hall had an offer to play for Central Michigan, but turned it down to play for Michigan as the No. 301 ranked player in his class.
After not earning any playing time for the Wolverines in his freshman 2017 season, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman transferred to play in Mount Pleasant on Dec. 30.
Hank Hughes – Texas A&M to Ball State
As a 6-foot-2, 200-pound walk-on quarterback at Texas A&M, Hughes was unable to get on the field in two seasons with the Aggies. Instead of waiting for his opportunity, he has transferred to Ball State.
In his senior season for Richardson (Texas) Pearce, Hughes completed 114-of-186 passes for 1,538 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added 86 carries for 415 yards and six touchdowns.
Currently, Riley Neal is expected to be the starter on day one of camp, but Hughes has the maturity and physical assets to push him out of the way. Neal, at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, threw for 659 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in 2017 for Ball State.