Former Colorado State return man and wide receiver Deionte Gaines has committed to the University of Southern Illinois. After entering spring ball listed as a starting wide receiver for Mike Bobo's Rams, Gaines was granted his release from the program this spring.
The loss of Gaines is big for CSU, especially on special teams. Gaines was easily one of the fastest players in the Mountain West and his ability to break a big play on the outside made him a threat to take the ball to the end zone on any given play.
In 22 games for CSU, Gaines totalled 1,453 all-purpose yards and returned 46 kicks for a total of 1,093 return yards. Gaines' most memorable moment as a Ram came against New Mexico, when he rushed for a 30-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the game.
Gaines will be joining his high school teammate in running back Daquan Isom as a member of the Salukis football program. Gaines is one of five players transferring to Southern Illinois, including C.J. Jennings (CB, Wyoming), Jarvis Leverett Jr. (RB, Kansas State), Vince Martin (S, New Mexico Military Institute), and Ryan Sousa (WR, Florida) will all be immediately eligible to play for the Salukis in 2016.
Southern Illinois is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and finished the 2015 season with an overall record of 3-8. There have been 32 Southern Illinois players to reach the NFL, including most famously, former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott.