CMU football loses key players to transfer portal


CMU football players huddle together during a time out at the CMU vs. New Hampshire game, Saturday, Sept. 9, in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. 

Heading into the 2024 season, Central Michigan football will look to flip its misfortunes after having losing records in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2010-2011.

It may have just gotten a little harder for the Chippewas, as after the team already lost starting quarterback Jase Bauer to the transfer portal, a few other big names have entered since.

The list includes junior safety Trey Jones, junior linebacker Kyle Moretti, sophomore offensive lineman Keegan Smith, and sophomore defensive end Quindario Lee.

Jones who led the Chippewas in tackles in the 2023 season with 66, has already found a home as he committed to Texas A&M on Dec. 18, 2023. He finished his CMU career with 178 tackles while having three interceptions and five pass breakups.

Moretti, who led the team in the 2022 season with 95 tackles, has decided to transfer after three years with CMU. In 2023 he was putting together a terrific season before injuring his knee against Akron halfway through the season, even having a career high 14 tackles in the season opener at Michigan State.

He now leaves the Chippewas with 207 tackles with 16.5 of them for a loss, six sacks and seven pass breakups. These stats helped him into being named to the All-Mid-American conference third team in both 2022 and 2023.

Smith had an instant impact to the program as he played in 12 games as a true freshman in 2021. That team was 9-4 and had the nation’s leading rusher in former CMU running back Lew Nichols III. 

In his sophomore year, Smith suffered an injury that made him miss the entirety of the 2022 season. In 2023 he started in 11 of 12 games on the line. The only game he missed was against Ohio, after he sustained an injury the week prior against Western Michigan.

The other Chippewa that has also found a home is Lee who committed to the University of Houston on Jan. 12, 2024. 

Lee found his footing in the 2023 season, playing in 11 games but starting in just nine of them. He ranked second on the team in tackles for loss with seven, along with being third on the team in sacks with three.

With some big shoes to fill, Chippewa fans will have to see how head coach Jim McElwain replaces and gets similar production from new faces.