The official status says that Elerson Smith opted out of his final season at Northern Iowa, but really it was taken from him.
The edge rusher was coming off a breakout performance in 2019 when he recorded 14 sacks in his first year as a starter and hoping to build on it to make NFL scouts notice. Then the pandemic came. Pretty soon all of FCS, the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision, was postponed until the spring. Smith entered the transfer portal hoping to jump on with an FBS program for the fall, but those seasons were starting to get postponed, too.