Charlotte's football team gained a heap of experience with the seven transfers brought in this past February. With their first game just days away, the transfers are hungry to get on the field and will look to make their mark this season.
Head Coach Will Healy faced some hardship in recruiting because of fewer face-to-face interactions with recruits due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, Healy admits he had to be willing to take a chance on guys he had not been around. Healy says getting his players to buy in will be a "daily process," He plans to "invest in relationships" and making sure they trust the coaching staff.
The 49ers now have Jon Alexander, a 6-3 grad transfer from Kansas State, playing safety. In 2019, Alexander played in 12 regular-season games and picked up 25 tackles. He did not play in the 2020 season but hopes to produce at a high level this season.
Graduate transfer Davondre Robinson who played at East Carolina, is another safety transferring to the team. The SC native had a career to remember at East Carolina. Robinson has the potential to make this year's 49ers defense even better. Robinson stated he felt like Charlotte "was a good move for him." The safety brings his "football IQ and physicality" to the defense on the backend.
The Niners also landed 300-pound defensive tackle Joshua Bailey. Bailey is a redshirt senior who hails from Iowa State. He did not see much playing time at Iowa State. However, he has a chance to show his potential for the 49ers.
From Iowa, Charlotte signed redshirt sophomore running back Shadrick Byrd. Byrd only played on special teams in a season opener at Purdue during his time at Iowa. He, too, has an opportunity to prove how valuable he can become to the 49er offense.
In addition, redshirt sophomore James Foster comes to Charlotte from Texas A&M. Foster will be competing for starting quarterback job after he opted out of the 2020 season. In 2019, he played in four games, completing three passes on nine attempts with five rushes for 15 yards. Niner Nation eagerly awaits the healthy competition inevitable between Foster and fifth-year starter Chris Reynolds this season.
Kofi Wardlow, a 6-3 defensive end coming from Notre Dame, will be a great addition to the Niner defense. Wardlow played in three games in four seasons at Notre Dame. However, Healy expects Wardlow to have an exceptional season with the Niners. Wardlow says being a 49er has been "pretty amazing" so far. And according to Wardlow, entering the transfer portal was "nerve-wracking," but Healy has created a new and fresh culture of which he is excited to be a part.
Lastly, signed graduate transfer linebacker Justin Whisenhunt from Troy will be a big part of the defense. Whisenhunt played in two games, made four solo tackles, and broke up one pass.
Healy has his eyes on both the newcomers and transfers this season. He is excited about what is to come as players will buy into the program. Likewise, fans have high expectations as they expect a transformation with the new additions on the team.