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Ex-Wake Forest, current Western Michigan WR enters transfer portal for second time this offseason

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The infamous portal giveth, and sometimes the same portal taketh as well. Sometimes, at the same program and the same position in the same month.

Not long ago, we noted the fact Western Michigan had added Mississippi State transfer wide receiver Keith Mixon to its roster.  Unfortunately for the Broncos, Cortez Lewis decided to not report to the team for summer camp and has placed his name back into the NCAA transfer database.

At this time, it’s unclear why Lewis failed to follow through on his signing with the MAC program.

In mid-May, WMU had confirmed Lewis’ addition as a graduate transfer.  Earlier in the offseason, the wide receiver had decided to leave Wake Forest and put his name into the portal.

In 35 career games with the Demon Deacons, Lewis totaled 88 catches for 1,158 yards and five touchdowns.  Lewis’ best season came way back in 2015 as he accumulated 611 yards and four touchdowns on 47 catches as a true freshman.

Mississippi State WR Keith Mixon transfers to Western Michigan

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One SEC school’s loss is a directional Michigan school’s gain.

Keith Mixon signaled his intent to pursue a move on from Mississippi State in early January by placing his name in the NCAA transfer portal.  As of Tuesday, according to his new football program’s official website, the wide receiver is now listed on Western Michigan’s online roster and was in uniform when the Broncos kicked off the full-contact portion of summer camp.

As Mixon heads to the Broncos as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the MAC school in 2019.

A starter for the first half of the 2017 season, Mixon was hampered in the last half because of a foot injury. He underwent surgery in the offseason to repair the damage, which caused him to fall behind in spring practice and on into summer camp.

After catching 19 passes for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then going 18-275-1 in 2017, Mixon caught 10 passes for 137 yards and two scores this past season.

TCU dismisses WR KaVontae Turpin

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Not surprisingly, the KaVontae Turpin situation in Fort Worth has come to a head rather quickly.

Monday morning, reports surfaced that Turpin was arrested Sunday for assault with bodily harm of a family member.  It was alleged by police that the TCU wide receiver had dragged his girlfriend across a parking lot and slammed her to the ground at an apartment complex in Fort Worth on Saturday night.  Not long after, it was reported that Turpin had been arrested back in March for, among other things, battery of a household member.

Turpin had been suspended Monday by Gary Patterson following the reports of the twin arrests.  Tuesday afternoon, the head coach announced at his weekly press conference that Turpin has been dismissed by the football program.  And, in a twist, Patterson revealed that he hasn’t even informed the player yet of the dismissal, meaning he’ll likely learn of it through someone other than his head coach.

Turpin is currently second on the team in receptions (29), receiving yards (410) and receiving touchdowns (three).  He’s also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season.  Turpin’s 26 yards per kick return average is 19th nationally, while he’s tied for the FBS lead, with Western Michigan’s Jayden Reed, in punt return average at 19.4 yards per.

Western Michigan officially adds Michigan, Syracuse grad transfers

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The roster at Western Michigan officially received a Power Five boost Wednesday.

In late November, wide receiver Drake Harris announced that he had decided to transfer from Michigan, confirming three months later that he would be moving on to WMU.  Earlier this month, after opting to transfer from Syracuse in mid-December, defensive back Juwan Dowels (pictured) took to social media to announce he had landed in Kalamazoo as well.

Wednesday, the MAC football program formally announced the additions of both players.  As each are coming to the Broncos as graduate transfers, they will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

“We are excited about the size and athleticism Drake brings to our wide receiver corps,” said head coach Tim Lester in a statement. “He played his high school ball just up the road in Grand Rapids and I know he is excited about showcasing his skill set in Kalamazoo. …

“Juwan brings valuable experience to a young secondary unit, having played in the same defensive scheme as ours in his freshman and sophomore seasons. His 24 [games] in the ACC will help solidify the back half of our defensive in 2018.”

A four-star 2014 signee, Harris was rated as the No. 7 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Michigan; and the No. 68 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Just one signee in the Wolverines’ class that year, five-star athlete and 2017 NFL first-round draft pick Jabrill Peppers, was rated higher than Harris.

Despite that impressive recruiting pedigree, Harris was never able to turn the recruiting hype into on-field production. During his four seasons at U-M, he caught eight passes for 50 yards, including one for 10 against Ohio State this season.

Harris also spent time as a cornerback in 2017.

Dowels played in 24 games during his time with the Orange, starting seven of those contests. Five of those starts came during the 2015 season, while he started one of the first two games of 2016 before going down with a season-ending knee injury.

During his three years, Dowels was credited with 69 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and eight passes defensed. He also picked off a pair of passes, including one in his final season with the Orange.

In the release announcing the players’ additions to the roster, the school also noted an interesting twist involving both players:

Both Dowels and Harris will get to face their former teams this upcoming fall. Western Michigan hosts Syracuse in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 31 in Kalamazoo. The Broncos travel to Michigan for game two, taking on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Pitt adds CMU assistant Archie Collins as 10th assistant

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Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi now has his staff complete for the 2018 season, barring any unforeseen changes that could come after the next signing period. Archie Collins, who previously was an assistant at Central Michigan, will make join the Pitt coaching staff, although the specific role he will take on has yet to be formally announced.

“Archie is a fantastic coach and highly driven recruiter,” Narduzzi said in a released statement. “We wanted our 10th assistant coach appointment to be an impactful hire and we achieved that by bringing Archie to Pitt. I first met him when he was a high school coach in Detroit and later I had him as a graduate assistant. Archie went on to do really exceptional work at Central Michigan and he’ll be a great asset for our entire program. I’m thrilled to welcome him and his family to Pitt.”

It is expected Collins will work with the defensive backs at Pitt in some capacity after taking that role at Central Michigan and working as a defensive passing game coordinator with the MAC program. Pitt ranked 13th in the 14-team ACC in passing defense a season ago after allowing an average of 254.2 passing yards per game with 24 passing touchdowns given up with just nine interceptions.

Collins will have some potential talent to work with as Dane Jackson and Damar Hamlin come off their redshirt sophomore and sophomore seasons, respectively and some freshmen looking to have an impact beginning this spring. With Jordan Whitehead declaring a year early for the NFL, the defensive secondary will have some room to improve in 2018.