In April, the NCAA Board of Directors ratified a change to its transfer policy, granting immediate eligibility to all players who transfer for the first time ahead of the 2021-22 season.
IU football added nine new players to the roster via the transfer portal for this upcoming season, all of whom will be eligible to play right away.
While the destination for each of the nine transfers was Bloomington, each player’s path to joining the Hoosiers has been unique.
Coming out of high school in 2017, graduate student defensive lineman Weston Kramer was only given a scholarship offer to Northern Illinois University. Kramer was ranked the No. 118 player in Illinois and a two-star recruit in high school by the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Kramer said he had dreams of playing in the Big Ten when he was in high school, but his lone scholarship offer was in the Mid-American Conference.
By the time he entered the transfer portal after his senior year at Northern Illinois, he had been named second-team All-MAC and was the 18th highest graded defensive tackle in the nation by Pro Football Focus in 2020. Kramer announced his decision to transfer to IU in April.
“Coming into the Big Ten was something I kind of wanted to do leaving NIU. I just felt like I could, so why not,” Kramer said in a Zoom conference Thursday. “I already played at NIU for four years, and I just thought if I have the extra year, why not come try it out?”
The Hoosiers made another graduate addition in wide receiver Camron Buckley from Texas A&M University. Buckley played in 39 games with the Aggies from 2017-2019, missing the entire 2020 season due to a knee injury.
Buckley was a highly recruited prospect for three-time Texas state football champions Cedar Hill High School, and was named an Under Armor All-American in 2017. He was offered scholarships from schools such as Auburn University, the University of Miami and the University of Texas before committing to Texas A&M.
After four years at Texas A&M, Buckley called transferring to IU a business decision.
“Just looking at the offense, I love what this team is doing, I love what Coach [Tom] Allen’s doing, what Coach [Grant] Heard’s doing with the receiving core,” Buckley said. “We have a great quarterback coming back. To come in and be a part of this offense, it means a lot, and I’m gonna make the best of it.”
While Kramer and Buckley are brand-new to IU, redshirt sophomore defensive back Deland McCullough II, a transfer from Miami University, is transferring to a place where he said he feels at home.
McCullough II’s father, Deland, was hired as IU’s running backs coach in February after previously serving in the role from 2011-2016. His brothers, Dasan and Daeh, are committed to play football at IU in the 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes, and currently attend Bloomington High School South.
While McCullough II was offered by the Hoosiers in high school, he ultimately chose to attend Miami University, his father’s alma mater. After two seasons with the RedHawks, McCullough II decided to transfer to the team he grew up wanting to play for.
“I had dreams of playing at IU, even when I was young when my dad was coaching here,” McCullough II said. “We were here for six seasons, and I fell in love with it when I was young here in Bloomington, and just IU football and the atmosphere. It just became a reality here within the last couple of months.”