Arkansas lands commitment from former Michigan State OL Keyshawn Blackstock

On3 imageby:Matt Connolly11/20/23


Andy Staples Week 13 Resume Rankings | 11.19.23

Arkansas has landed a big-time commitment out of the transfer portal. Former Michigan State offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock announced his commitment to the Razorbacks on Monday.

Blackstock entered the transfer portal last month and considered multiple Power 5 schools, before choosing to play for Sam Pittman and Arkansas.

The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder originally chose Michigan State last December, after being ranked as the top JUCO offensive lineman in the country, according to On3.

In addition to Arkansas, Blackstock also received offers from NC StateTexas TechHoustonPittsburghCaliforniaMemphisNebraskaUTSAVirginia TechLouisiana-LafayetteArizona StateOle MissPenn StateSouth FloridaTempleWest VirginiaKansasArkansasColoradoLouisville, and Maryland.

Blackstock’s time with the Spartans was short-lived, as he joined the team from the JUCO ranks this offseason. He began the season as a backup left tackle and appeared in the first four games but missed the next three.

Blackstock played high school football at Newton (KS), where he was a four-star prospect. He was the No. 6 overall JUCO recruit in the 2021 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

Keyshawn Blackstock’s decision to transfer came after Michigan State fired coach Mel Tucker on Sept. 27. That gave Spartans players a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal, and Blackstock did so just a few days before that timeframe was set to expire.

Because he only played in four games this season, Blackstock can use a redshirt for the remainder of this year and keep two years of eligibility.

He will have two seasons to use at Arkansas, if he chooses to stay both years.

To keep up with the latest players on the move, check out On3’s Transfer Portal wire

Transfer portal background information for Keyshawn Blackstock, Arkansas

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That comes after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.