Defensive tackle Phillip Paea has entered the transfer portal. Paea played in just a few games from 2017-2020, bouncing back and forth between offensive and defensive line.
Paea was recruited for defensive tackle, even though I said all along I liked him best on offense (LINK). I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 76 thinking the staff might come around, but as it became clear he was headed for defense, I lowered that to 68 (LINK).
It seems to be rather unusual that a player in modern football sticks around for four years without having a role on offense or defense, but that was the case here with Paea. As a grad transfer, he now has two years to play two.
That 2017 class was thought to be a great in-state haul, but Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ambry Thomas only played three years each, never reaching their ceiling. Deron Irving-Bey, Ja’Raymond Hall, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Joshua Ross rounded out that in-state class. The only one remaining is Ross, and so far, none has received honors above Third Team All-Big Ten.