Attrition when a coach leaves a program cuts both ways. Several players entered the transfer portal when former coach Tom Allen left the program. When new head coach Curt Cignetti left James Madison for Indiana football, players followed him from Harrisonburg. Ten players have followed Cignetti from JMU to Indiana.
Wide receiver Elijah Sarratt might be the most important of those players to follow Cignetti. The Stafford, Virginia native is the most decorated player to sign with the Hoosiers from the portal. Sarratt began his career at FCS Saint Francis, where he was a Freshman All-American after a 42 reception, 700-yard, 13 touchdown season.
Sarratt transferred to James Madison and continued his stellar play. He led the Dukes in receptions (82) and yards (1,191) and was second on the team in touchdowns (8), earning an All-Sun Belt First Team selection. He was also an All-American Honorable Mention by the College Football Network and named to the HERO Sports Group of Five All-American Team.
Indiana beat out Utah, Kansas State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Cal, Purdue, and South Carolina for his services. Sarratt has three years of eligibility remaining.
Why it matters.
Players like Sarratt who have eligibility and can play right away are critical as Coach Cignetti continues to build his roster. Those players don't grow on trees. Sarratt is in a unique place: He is a proven player who could play three years at IU.
Sarratt upgrades the receiver room at Indiana by a lot. Looking at next season, he and fellow wide receiver Donaven McCulley will give defenses fits alongside new quarterback Ohio transfer Kurtis Rourke. In addition to McCulley, E.J. Williams -- the third leading receiver last year -- also returns.
Ke'Shawn Williams comes over from Wake Forest with 107 career receptions as well. Give Cignetti and the staff credit; they are putting together quite an offense.