In pursuit of NFL, Central Michigan TE Tony Poljan enters transfer portal
One of the unfortunate realities of Power 5 conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12 canceling games outside of their league in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is that some quality NFL prospects for smaller programs are losing the opportunity to face top competition.
That is precisely the case at Central Michigan of the Mid-American Athletic Conference, which lost two of their three scheduled out-of-conference games this year (Nebraska, Northwestern) due to the Big Ten’s ruling last week.
The Chippewas’ top NFL prospect – redshirt senior tight end Tony Poljan - is doing something about it, announcing on social media Wednesday his plans to enter the transfer portal and play elsewhere in 2020.
UPDATE - Based on his social media announcement, it appears that Poljan has agreed to join the Virginia Cavaliers.
While exciting for Virginia, one can’t help but feel bad for the Chippewas, who are losing a terrific homegrown talent.
There are few teams in college football which would not appreciate adding a talent like the 6-7, 250 pound Poljan, who checked in fifth on NFLDraftScout.com’s initial TE rankings for the 2021 NFL draft.
Switching schools this late in the process is nothing new for Poljan, who signed on with CMU as a quarterback and played both that position and tight end for much of his college career. Poljan, in fact, was Central Michigan’s starting quarterback in a handful of games in 2018, throwing for 625 yards and two touchdowns (against five interceptions). He appeared in a total of seven games as a passer that year, switching to tight end in the other five, catching seven passes for 125 yards and two scores in limited duty before making a full-time switch to tight end last season.
Starting all 12 games for the Chippewas, Poljan recorded 33 catches for 496 yards and four scores in 2019, earning Second Team All-MAC honors.
While Poljan’s production may not wow you, his athleticism jumps off the screen, especially for a man of his size. That said, to better gauge how well Poljan would fare against NFL talent, scouts want to see him against top competition. The MAC had a total of nine players selected in the NFL draft last spring. The Big Ten, by comparison, had 48.
Poljan’s decision to enter the transfer portal could prompt other similarly-situated NFL prospects at smaller schools to consider their options, making this a storyline pro scouts, college football fans and NFL draft enthusiasts will want to keep tabs on.
The possibility of more games being canceled - or perhaps the whole college football season - is already something the NFL is prepared to handle. The 2021 NFL draft remains on schedule.
Poljan is a native of Lansing, Michigan, raising early speculation that the Spartans could be a potential landing spot. New head coach Mel Tucker has won with transfers before and already has a few NFL prospects on the roster.