Maryland football redshirt sophomore linebacker Deshawn Holt announced on Instagram Tuesday that he is entering the transfer portal, continuing a trend the Terps have seen from that position group.
“I want to thank coach locks and the Maryland family for giving me this opportunity to play for my hometown something I have always dreamt of doing I am forever grateful for that. As much as it hurts to say this, after talking with my family I have decided to enter the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility remaining,” Holt wrote in an Instagram post.
Heading into the 2021 season, Maryland’s linebackers were considered one of the deepest positions on the team. But after the regular season and the Terps winning the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, the program has watched freshman linebackers Branden Jennings and Terrence Lewis, sophomore Osita Smith (Wilde Lake) and now Holt enter the portal with intentions to leave the program.
Earlier in the season, sophomore linebacker Frankie Burgess entered the portal after appearing in four games in 2020.
Lewis, who didn’t play this year as he was recovering from a torn ACL, recently committed to Central Florida and Jennings committed to Kansas State.
This season, Holt, a former three-star recruit from Waldorf, appeared in eight games, recording 12 tackles and a pair of sacks.
Last month, coach Mike Locksley said he is in favor of the transfer portal, calling it “college free agency.”
Locksley believes the transfer portal is a “win-win” situation for coaches and players. If coaches miss out on high school recruits, they can use the portal to fill those needs while players are able to find the best program that fits them.
“I told this to [athletic director] Damon [Evans] a couple of weeks ago, 10% of your roster will probably be gone at the end of every cycle now because of the transfer portal,” Locksley said. “As a coach, we have to prepare for that. I mean, it starts with recruiting your current roster every year, every day.”
Even though Maryland has suffered some losses from the linebacker spot, the Terps have reinforcements coming in four-star St. Frances linebacker Jaishawn Barham and West Virginia transfer VanDarius Cowan, a former four-star recruit.
Junior linebackers Durell Nchami and Fa’Najae Gotay will return from season-ending injuries as well as freshman Demeioun Robinson, junior Ahmad McCullough and sophomores Gereme Spraggins (Arundel) and Ruben Hyppolite II, who had 62 total tackles and a forced fumble this season.
Outside of the linebacker position, senior receivers Brian Cobbs, Darryl Jones and Carlos Carriere, backup quarterback Reece Udinski, junior offensive lineman Evan Gregory and running backs Isaiah Jacobs and Peny Boone are among notable players who have also entered the transfer portal.
Udinski committed to Richmond while Boone committed to Toledo on Dec. 14.