The Miami football program offered a pair of Group of Five All-Conference players who announced their entrance into the transfer portal on Monday. UTEP offensive lineman Jeremiah Byers was named first-team All-Conference USA by PFF. Kent State wide receiver Dante Cephas was named first-team All-MAC in 2022.
Byers is listed at 6’4, 331 pounds and started all 13 games at right tackle in 2021 and ’22 for Texas-El Paso in 2021. Gaby Urrutia of Inside the U reported that Byers received an 83.9 pass-blocking grade and 81.3 run-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. With the 2020 covid season, Byers has two years of eligibility remaining.
Cephas had 48 receptions for 744 yards and three touchdowns for Kent State in nine games to earn first-team All-MAC. Cephas had a breakout 2021 season with 82 receptions for 1,240 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games during a season in which he was honored as first-team All-MAC for the first time.
Prior to the 2021 season, Cephas had 15 receptions for 155 yards and no TDs in five games during the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined. Cephas was originally the 2,525th ranked player, 300th WR and 47th in Pennsylvania out of Pittsburgh Penn Hills High School. Cephas is rated four stars and the 12th best 2022 transfer.
Byers originally signed with UTEP as a defensive tackle in 2019. In the 247 Sports composite, Byers was the 2,554th ranked player in the class of 2019, the 162nd DT and 367th prospect in Texas. Byers was listed as 6’6 290 pounds by 247 Sports when he signed with the Miners out of high school.
Urrutia reported that Byers also has offers from Florida State, Maryland, and Texas Tech in addition to Miami. Byers has 33 career starts that include one as a true freshman in 2019, three as a redshirt freshman in 2020 and every game at RT in each of the last two seasons. Miami loses starting RT D.J. Scaife.
Cephas and Byers would provide the Miami football program with experienced, productive players at needed positions who have been honored by their conferences. Cephas helped Kent State reach the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2021. In a loss to Wyoming, Kent State had four receptions for 116 yards and a TD.
UTEP lost to Fresno State in the 2021 New Mexico Bowl. The Miners had 401 yards in total offense. In 2022 UTEP averaged 384.8 yards of total offense. UTEP finished 60th nationally allowing two sacks per game. Byers was also named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2020.