Arkansas State football lands three transfers over the weekend

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 1:52 AM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2023 at 7:37 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State football landed their 15th, 16th and 17th transfer portal additions to the 2023 roster Saturday afternoon: Illinois wide receiver Khmari Thompson, Memphis kickoff specialist Noah Grant and Georgia Southern tight end/long snapper Nathan Tillman.

Thompson, a 6-1 grad transfer, appeared in seven games for Illinois last year in his junior season, getting on the field for 31 total snaps. He saw the most action as a kick returner in 2020, returning 12 kicks for 234 yards. The Missouri native started his college career at Mizzou in 2018. He committed to Arkansas State over Elon, Eastern Kentucky, Alcorn State and Jackson State, among others.

Grant, listed as both a punter and a kicker, has appeared in 20 games as a kickoff specialist in 2021 and 2022. The sophomore had 15 touchbacks on 41 kickoffs for the Tigers in 8 games in 2022. In 2021, he had 35 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs, leaving the opponent’s average starting field position after kickoff at 26.8, fifth in the American according to Pro Football Focus.

Grant will walk on and be in the mix to replace last year’s kickoff specialist Tristan Mattson, who transferred to Central Michigan.

Tillman will also be a walk-on, joining the pack after spending the last two seasons as a long snapper at Georgia Southern. He was redshirted in 2021 and did not see the field in 2022. The Georgia native will join his brother, Dakota, in Jonesboro. Dakota joined Butch Jones’ staff as a Special Teams Analyst in February.

2023 Arkansas State Football Transfer Portal Tracker


  • OL Jacob Bayer (Junior, Lamar)
    • The 6-4, 286-pound center started all 22 games over two seasons for the Cardinals, allowing just two sacks over two seasons. Graded as a top-30 center in all of FCS according to Pro Football Focus. Has 2 years of eligibility left.
  • DT Micah Bland (Senior, North Alabama/Louisville)
    • Bland started all 11 games for the Lions this season, racking up 54 tackles and 4 TFLs with a career-high 11 tackles at Kennesaw State. He recorded 42 tackles and 2 sacks in 2021.
    • Bland started his career at Louisville, where he played 6 games and 50 snaps in 2020.
    • Has 1 year of eligibility left.
  • RB Zak Wallace (Junior, UT Martin)
    • Wallace is a two-time First Team All-OVC selection, rushing for 1,012 yards for the Skyhawks in 2022 (6.0 yards per carry) to go with 16 rushing touchdowns in 2022. The Benton native needed just 13 touches to get a season-high 220 yards against Lindenwood. Had 4 touchdowns and 155 yards against Houston Christian. His 54 first downs, 32 missed tackles forced and 18 runs of 15+ yards ranked top 3 in the OVC.
    • Career at UT Martin (35 total games): 1,960 rushing yards, 5.4 yards per attempt, 32 touchdowns.
    • Has 2 years of eligibility left.
  • OL Tobias Braun (Sophomore, Ole Miss)
  • OL Hamilton Hall (Senior, Ole Miss)
  • WR Courtney Jackson (Junior, Syracuse)
  • CB Manny Stokes (Senior, Coastal Carolina)
    • Career at Coastal Carolina (34 games): 48 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FR, 4 pass deflections, 248 kick return yards
    • 2022 (missed last four games, played 9 games): 23 targets against, 17 receptions, 263 yards, 1 TD allowed.
  • LB Gavin Potter (Senior, Kansas)
    • Career at Kansas (37 games, 25 starts): 174 tackles, 11 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD.
    • Entered the transfer portal in October after playing in four games, logging 73 snaps played.
    • His best season was in 2021: 78 tackles (3rd on the team), 5 TFL in 11 starts (all career-highs)
    • Was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for Freshman of the Year in 2019.
    • Has 2 seasons of eligibility
  • OL Jalen Cunningham (Senior, Ole Miss)
    • Has appeared in 46 games in four seasons at Ole Miss.
    • Primarily played on special teams, but saw action at left and right guard.
  • QB J.T. Shrout (Redshirt Junior, Colorado/Tennessee)
    • Played in 17 games in 4 seasons at Colorado and Tennessee.
    • Tossed for over 1200 yards with 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in 2022 for the Buffs.
  • WR Corey Rucker (Junior, South Carolina)
    • The All-Sun Belt receiver spent the 2022 season at South Carolina, where he had a 52-yard touchdown reception against Charlotte in September. He missed the bulk of the year with a foot injury.
    • Rucker led the Red Wolves in 2021 with 59 catches for 826 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Mississippi native earned All-Sun Belt 2nd Team and Freshman All-American honors.
  • DB Donte Thompson (Junior, Incarnate Word)
    • Thompson appeared in all 14 games for the 12-2 Cardinals last season, playing 774 snaps with 17 pass breakups (3rd in FCS) and an interception. Receivers caught 25 passes on 57 targets against Thompson, going for 295 yards and just 1 touchdown. He also added 37 tackles, 2.5 TFL and a forced fumble.
    • He was named First Team All-Southland Conference as a defensive back as the Cardinals finished 12-2, falling in the FCS Semifinals to North Dakota State.
  • DB Davon Martin (Junior, Tyler JC/Middle Tennessee)
    • Had 18 FBS offers.
  • DL Nate Martey (Sophomore, Princeton)
    • 2022: 25 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, fumble recovery.
  • WR Khmari Thompson (Grad transfer, Illinois/Missouri)
  • K/P Noah Grant (Sophomore walk-on, Memphis)
  • DS/TE Nathan Tillman (Redshirt freshman walk-on, Georgia Southern)