Georgia State leans heavily on portal for its 16 signees

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

The transfer portal played a big part in Georgia State’s signing day, with seven new faces joining the program from other schools, all of them with a chance to play right away.

The Panthers also had eight high school signees and one junior college transfer for 16 commitments Wednesday.

“Sixteen is a good number, and we’ve still got money in the bank to spend in the next signing period,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “And then as spring works itself out, you get into another class as well. Everybody at this point says they’re happy about their signing class, and I think we are as well.”

The seven players added through the portal have a chance to make an immediate impact.

“There is a reason why they’re here,” Elliott said. “There is no other reason other than to come in here and play. That’s why they were signed. They understand the task at hand, they understand what we need, they understand what they need to give us. And it was a mutual relationship.”

The big prize may be Kevin Swint, a four-star recruit from Carrollton High School who transferred from Clemson. An outside linebacker, he played 13 games for the Tigers in 2022. Swint could replace graduated Jamil Muhammad, who transferred to Southern Cal. Swint is expected to thrive under the team’s aggressive style of defense and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

“We probably spoke the first meeting for 45 minutes, just sitting there,” Elliott said. “That may have been the greatest recruiting conversation I’ve ever had. Of course, he’s physically mature, but the mental aspect and mental maturity of him. … He was just so clear about what he wanted to do. I think it’s going to be a really nice addition.”

Tyden Ferris, a grad transfer from Central Michigan, is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman who played center and guard. He might be the heir apparent to all-conference center Malik Sumter or guard Pat Bartlett, who both graduated. Ferris started the last 12 games and was part of a line that helped Lew Nichols lead the nation in rushing. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

Offensive lineman Lamar Robinson (6-3, 302) is transferring from Norfolk State. He played 11 games for the Spartans and is expected to contend for a vacancy. He will have three seasons of eligibility left.

The receiver’s group got even deeper with the addition of Jacari Carter, an FCS Freshman All-American at Merrimack College who had 89 catches. He had 31 receptions as a sophomore. Carter also could provide a game-changer on punt returns. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Tavian Brown, a transfer from Colorado State, will add depth at inside linebacker. He started five games for the Rams in 2022. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Gavin Pringle, a cornerback from Bucknell, should help ease the graduation losses of Quavian White and Jaylon Jones. He was a preseason All-Patriot League choice and had 42 tackles and three interceptions. He also is an option at safety. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Defensive lineman Henry Bryant, a transfer from Louisville, will have an opportunity to replace Thomas Gore and Akeem Smith, who both transferred. Smith played 10 games as a freshman, but only two games in 2022. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

From the incoming freshman class, Georgia State signed a pair of quarterbacks – Braylen Ragland from Memphis and Bryson Harrison from Cobb County’s Lassiter High. Ragland threw for 2,036 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2022 and took his team to the state semifinals.

“What’s great about those two young guys is they’re going to come in and instantly gain valuable reps during spring practice and meeting times,” Elliott said. “There’s going to be a lot of concentration. I love the development of the quarterback because eventually they become the leader of the team.”

There will be no pressure on either, as starter Darren Grainger and veteran backup Mikele Colasurdo both return.

Two defensive linemen were added – Jude Tinor of Melbourne, Fla., and Ricardo Williams, a transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College. Georgia State’s freshman class also included two cornerbacks, one tight end, one offensive lineman and one wide receiver.

“A lot of needs were met and still a lot of needs to go,” Elliott said.


Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown

Shawn Burton, OL, 6-3, 245, Morrisville, N.C.

Dorian Fleming, TE, 6-3, 230, Henrico, Va.

Bryson Harrison, QB, 6-1, 200, Roswell

Jaylen Jones, CB, 6-1, 185, Charlotte, N.C.

Marlon McClendon, CB, 5-10, 165, Lakeland, Fla.

Braylen Ragland, QB, 6-0, 180, Memphis, Tenn.

Quentin Thomas, WR, 6-1, 185, Stockbridge

Jude Tinor, DL, 6-0, 260, Melbourne, Fla.


Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown (School)

Tavian Brown, ILB, 6-2, 225, Demopolis, Ala. (Colorado State)

Henry Bryant, DL, 6-0, 285, Delray, Beach Fla. (Louisville)

Jacari Carter, WR, 5-9, 178, Sayreville, N.J. (Merrimack)

Tyden Ferris, OL, 6-4, 305, Delton, Mich. (Central Michigan)

Gavin Pringle, CB, 5-11, 170, Baltimore (Bucknell)

Lamar Robinson, OL, 6-3, 302, Alexandria, Va. (Norfolk State)

Kevin Swint, OLB, 6-3, 240, Carrollton (Clemson)

Ricardo Williams, DL, 6-2, 290 Jackson, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)