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Northern Illinois tight end transferring to USF

Veteran Mitchell Brinkman had a breakout season for the Huskies in 2019.
Mitchell Brinkman, playing for Northern Illinois, runs for a touchdown against Vanderbilt during a game in September. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mitchell Brinkman, playing for Northern Illinois, runs for a touchdown against Vanderbilt during a game in September. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) [ MARK HUMPHREY | Associated Press ]
Published May 15, 2020

USF’s roster replenishment via the transfer portal continued Friday with the Bulls getting a commitment from rangy Northern Illinois tight end Mitchell Brinkman.

A 6-foot-3, 252-pound Iowa native, Brinkman spent four years with the Huskies, breaking out last fall (34 catches, 445 yards, three touchdowns) after totaling 11 receptions his first three seasons.

He’ll arrive as a graduate transfer and be eligible immediately. He also had seriously considered Texas Tech and Temple.

“I just feel it’s the best fit for me as a player,” Brinkman said in a direct message Friday. “Coach (Jeff) Scott, coach (Charlie) Weis (Jr., offensive coordinator) and coach (Joey) King (tight ends coach) were incredible throughout the process, and that made it very apparent they were the coaching staff I wanted to play for my senior year.”

Brinkman is the third veteran acquired by USF via the portal in the last month, joining Michigan linebacker Devin Gil and Wofford defensive tackle Thad Mangum.

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Additionally, former Armwood quarterback Noah Johnson arrived as an Alcorn State graduate transfer in early April. Four other Division I transfers, including North Carolina quarterback Cade Fortin, came aboard late in 2019.