The chances of South Dakota State returning to the FCS national championship game largely depends on quarterback play.
With freshman All-American Mark Gronowski suffering a serious knee injury early in this spring’s national title game, and 2019 starter and 2021 spring backup J’Bore Gibbs also doubtful with two-straight knee injuries, the Jackrabbits were in the transfer portal market.
Keaton Heide, who replaced an injured Gibbs in 2019 and replaced Gronowski in the championship game, is returning. But now, the Jacks have found a second option to push and compete for the starting job.
Chris Oladokun announced his commitment to transfer to SDSU.
Oladokun was a 3-star high school recruit out of Tampa with offers from USF, Bowling Green, Georgia Southern, Iowa State, Nebraska, South Alabama, Temple, and Toledo. He began his college career at USF, starting two games in 2018, before transferring to FCS Samford in 2019.
In 2019 as a junior, he played in 12 games and started eight, completing 169-of-272 passes for 2,064 yards, 18 TDs, and seven interceptions. The 6-foot-2 and 205-pounder also rushed 127 times for 493 yards and eight TDs.
Liam Welch took over as Samford’s starting quarterback this spring, where he was named a Stats Perform Second Team All-American.
The addition of Oladokun gives SDSU some explosiveness it lacked with Gronowski on the sidelines against Sam Houston in the championship game. SDSU returns 10 of 11 defensive starters from the spring, an elite offensive line, two of the best running backs (Isaiah Davis and Pierre Strong Jr.) in the subdivision, and sophomore All-American wide receiver Jaxon Janke.
Check out Oladokun’s highlights: