Senior cornerback Lewis Toler has left the Western Michigan football program, as reported by David Drew of the Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive Wednesday afternoon.
Drew wrote that head coach P.J. Fleck confirmed the news following his National Signing Day press conference. He cited "personal reasons" for the departure.
Toler was a standout in the WMU defensive backfield for his three years, earning Freshman All-American honors in 2010 from Rivals.com and starting 36 games in his career.
Donald Celiscar is the likely starter at one cornerback spot, with Leo Alba and Garrett Smith the obvious picks to take over on the other side.
This may also open up extra playing time in the defensive secondary for reserve players. Senior Tronic Williams, and sophomore Ronald Zamort figure to see more time in nickel and dime sets, and perhaps junior Jon Henry, who played primarily safety last season before injuring his knee, could play some at the position.
Toler leaves WMU with eight career interceptions, 20 pass breakups, and 155 tackles over his three seasons.
This is a blow to a position that was considered by many to be perhaps the greatest strength of the entire team, though it is mitigated somewhat since the secondary also has more depth than most spots. Excluding Lewis Toler, there are five returning cornerbacks with significant playing time under their belts.