NIU standouts Trayvon Rudolph, CJ Brown, Devin Lafayette enter transfer portal

Northern Illinois' Trayvon Rudolph looks to get by Western Michigan's Anthony Romphf during their game Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in Huskie Stadium at NIU in DeKalb.

NIU wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph and safety C.J. Brown announced they would be entering the transfer portal on Tuesday, joining linebacker/safety Devin Lafayette as announcing they would be looking for other schools.

All three players were a part of Thomas Hammock’s first full recruiting class. All three saw playing time as freshmen in 2020 when the Huskies went 0-6. They all also played big parts in the Huskies’ 2021 MAC title the following year.

Lafayette announced his intentions on Monday. The next day, Rudolph announced he’d be entering the portal with two years of eligibility left.

“Also, love all my teammates I have had the last four years I’ve been here and the bond we had,” a statement on Rudolph’s X (formerly Twitter) read. “They showed me what a true brotherhood should be/feel like.”

Rudolph missed all of last year. Heading into the Huskies’ bowl game, still to be determined, he has 46 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns after going for 49-877-7 in 2021, when the Huskies won the MAC title.

Brown has missed most of the season, playing only in three games. Last year he had 76 tackles, down from 109 in 2021. He has two interceptions in his career, including one for a touchdown. He has two years of eligibility left.

“Huskie Nation, I want to say thank you for the love and support you all have shown me over the past four years,” Brown’s social media statement read. “I am forever grateful for the coaches that allowed me to continue my academic and athletic career.”

Lafayette missed most of the 2021 campaign with an injury but has played a majority of the last two seasons at the Huskie, a hybrid linebacker/safety position. He has 39 tackles and two forced fumbles this year after 44 tackles last year. He had 36 as a true freshman in 2020.

Like the other two he has two years of eligibility left.

“To my teammates, the time and effort that we put in together will never be forgotten as y’all have pushed me to be a better man, student and athlete,” Lafayette’s social media statement read.

Players who enter the portal may end up returning to their original team. They are also still eligible to play in the bowl game, but traditionally players in the portal do not participate in bowl games or other team activities.

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