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UMass transfers ruled eligible by NCAA
Six weeks away from the first practice in the last season in the Football Championship Subdivision, the University of Massachusetts received some good news from the NCAA.
Football Bowl Subdivision transfers Kellen Pagel, Ryan Campbell and Chris Burns have been ruled eligible for the 2011 season by the NCAA.
Pagel, a 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback who transferred from Bowling Green, is the favorite to win the starting job after an impressive Spring Game.
Campbell is a redshirt sophomore defensive back who transferred from Mississippi and Burns is a junior running back from the University of Pittsburgh.
All three transferred to UMass before the Minutemen elected to elevate to FBS in April. The NCAA rule for transferring is a player must sit out a year if transferring from FBS to FBS, but there is no penalty for transferring from FBS to FCS.
At the time of the transfer UMass had not decided to move up and accept the invitation to the Mid-American Conference.
Pagel’s importance cannot be overstated. With the end of eligibility for last year’s starter Kyle Haven, UMass will enter training camp with no quarterback who has thrown a pass in a game for the Minutemen.
Pagel completed two of three attempts for 20 yards in a game against Michigan last season for Bowling Green. Ian Shultis played in two games last year for the Minutemen but did not attempt a pass.
Sophomore Brandon Hill and redshirt freshman Ray Pendagast have not played.
All four played in the Spring Game and did a good job, but Pagel was the best of the lot, throwing for 93 yards on 5-for-9 passing. He threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass from wide receiver Julian Talley.
The Minutemen open camp on August 4. The season opener is September 1 at Holy Cross in Worcester. The game will be played at 8 p.m., the first night game at Fitton Field.
The Together We’re One tour hits Boston again on Thursday, this time at the UMass Club. An informative tour to spread the word on the UMass move to FBS throughout the northeast, the events are free and open to the public.
By Jeff Thomas, The Republican