By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Assuming there’s going to be a 2020 college football season, the Tennessee State Tigers have gotten some help from incoming transfers. Last week former University of Memphis running back Devon Starling announced he was transferring to TSU. Starling is a former Class 6A Mr. Football (2018), and looks to be a factor in a backfield that lost its two top rushing threats and four of its overall top five running backs. Starling is also the third recent former FBS player to join the Tigers via transfer in two months.
Last month head coach Rod Reed announced defensive lineman Davoan Hawkins and offensive lineman Mike Arnold were also transferring to TS. Hawkins previously played at the University of Kentucky, while Arnold started 13 games over the past two seasons at Florida State University. Both are from Florida (Hollywood and Winter Haven respectively). Hawkins will have three years of eligibility remaining, while Arnold will have one.
But the biggest prize among this three is Starling, who redshirted last season with Memphis and formerly played at Cane Ridge. Coach Reed envisions him as someone who can play full-time for the Tigers and be utilized in both the run and passing games. He told USA Today Nashville that Starling is very similar to last year’s rushing leader Te’kendrick Roberson, but was bigger. He added that the University of Memphis definitely liked Starling, but there was a logjam of top rushers there and he hadn’t gotten a chance to break into their lineup.
TSU also will now be seeking a new head coach for the women’s basketball team. Jessica Kern made her resignation final last week, making the announcement on her Twitter account. She’d been on leave since Dec. 6 for health reasons. She had been coach since 2017.
“Though continued prayer, keeping the hearts and happiness of the current members of the Women’s Basketball Program in mind & understanding that we are all here to serve them, it is with a heavy heart that I must step back from my day to day duties as Head Woman’s Basketball Coach at Tennessee State University,” Kern’s statement read. The search is now underway for her successor.