It's been another crazy week for Saluki football. The spring transfer revolving door spun both ways all week. Recently, it spit out several current roster players, including one surprise refugee who was being counted on at the running back spot.
But I'll let you have the good news first. After picking up 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end Tyree Jackson (Ball State) two weeks ago, Saluki Coach Nick Hill signed three new transfers midway through last week. On defense, the Dawgs signed junior defensive tackle Kyonte Stallworth, a 6-foot-3, 290-pounder from Michigan State; and Julian Hylton from the Fighting Illini.
Stallworth is a four-star recruit that the Spartans signed out of Detroit. All the film of him was as an offensive tackle, but I'm certain Hill will use him at the defensive tackle spot.
Most certainly, Stallworth and Jackson could be difference-makers. Both give Hill more talent at the tackle spots than any other year he has coached.
The other defensive player who showed up for summer session was 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hylton. The Illini used him as a safety, but the film I've seen of him was at running back at Lincoln-Way-North (Chicago area). Hylton ran for 2,528 yards as a senior at Lincoln-Way, but Illini coaches thought he best fit at strong safety. So do Saluki coaches, as his 4.4-second 40 speed will be outstanding if teamed up with MVC All-Conference whiz Jeremy Chinn or super sophomore Michael Elbert.
SIU lost several former roster players, but the Salukis' biggest loss was Daquan Isom, a three-year tenured running back. He's not coming back for his senior year. So if Hylton really is going to stay on the defensive side of the ball, it's up to Missouri transfer Nate Strong and returnees DJ Davis, DJ Hampton, Chris Perkins and Jonathan Mixon to carry the load.
One of the biggest transfers, both figuratively and literally, may be 6-foot-8, 250-pound JUCO tight end Nigel Kilby. The Indiana native has bounced around a bit. In 2015, he was a freshman at Eastern Michigan University. Then he played for a Kansas JUCO and was so good he was named a Kansas Jayhawk Conference's first-teamer. In high school, he was the fourth best tight end in Indiana. He will be used at both the tight end and wide out spots.
Nigel is not super-fast, but he's such a huge target and has such great hands that he ought to dominate at the FCS level. Kilby will have to beat out Jake Varble as far as starting, but this guy has the talent to make a difference.