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Transfer portal tracker: 2023-24 Kentucky football offseason

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With the 2023 regular season in the books for Kentucky football, the offseason, despite an upcoming bowl appearance, has commenced.

With the transfer portal open and numerous players around the country looking for their next step, the Kentucky Kernel has opted to keep all portal news in one concise spot that will be updated as news becomes available.

Dec. 31, 2023

Deuce Hogan to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Hogan to New Mexico State

The 14th player to announce his departure from Kentucky was third-string quarterback Deuce Hogan.

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Deuce Hogan (16) warms up by throwing the ball during the Kentucky vs. Iowa Music City Bowl football game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. UK lost 21-0. Photo by Isabel McSwain | Staff (Isabel McSwain)

A junior out of Grapevine Faith Christian High School in Southlake, Texas, Hogan played two seasons in Lexington after transferring from Iowa.

A former star of Netflix’s QB1 show, Hogan spent two years with the Hawkeyes and redshirted his freshman season.

Hogan saw the field for Kentucky three times in 2022, his first in Lexington, completing six passes for 19 yards. All six passes occurred during the Cats’ bowl loss against his former school.

Despite not earning the backup role his first year, Hogan returned to Lexington to play behind incoming transfer Devin Leary and Kaiya Sheron.

Not seeing the field in 2023, Hogan will opt to go elsewhere in an effort to establish himself as a viable quarterback option. He joined Sheron and Destin Wade as the third quarterback to depart in the offseason with incoming transfers Brock Vandagriff and Beau Allen being joined by freshman Cutter Boley to revitalize the quarterback room.

A destination for Hogan has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Jan. 6, 2024: Hogan announced on social media that he will be joining the New Mexico State Aggies for the 2024 season.

Dec. 21, 2023

J.J. Weaver to return to Kentucky

Veteran outside linebacker JJ Weaver became the fourth Wildcat to formally announce a return to Lexington.

Weaver made the announcement on his Instagram, writing, “Stay with me BBN.”

Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver runs off the field during the Kentucky vs. Akron football game on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 35-3. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

He joined the Cats as four-star prospect out of Moore Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

Weaver has spent five seasons at Kentucky, redshirting as a freshman in 2019 after playing in three games for six tackles, one tackle for loss and two passes defended.

In 2020 as a redshirt freshman he logged nine games with 33 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks and a pass defense.

In 2021 Weaver played in 12 games, starting in six, recording 34 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, three passes defended, one forced fumble and two interceptions.

Returning in 2022, Weaver played in 11 games with nine starts, recording 47 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass defense.

As a senior in 2023, Weaver played and started in all 12 games, with the bowl game still on the way, logging 40 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and two passes defended.

Returning for a sixth year, Weaver will look to continue to be a major player for the Wildcats on defense and solidify himself as a NFL prospect.

His return was massive for the Wildcats after the news that Trevin Wallace would be entering the draft. Weaver will likely work alongside recent incoming transfer Jamon Dumas-Johnson.

Georgia linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its sixth commitment from the transfer portal when Georgia linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson committed to the Cats.

The top linebacker in the portal, Dumas-Johnson was a massive get for the Wildcats to fill the spots left by Keaten Wade, who transferred to Colorado, and Trevin Wallace, who declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Dumas-Johnson made the announcement on his Instagram, writing, “The chip is on BOTH shoulders.”

A four-star prospect out of St. Frances Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland, Dumas-Johnson played three seasons in Athens, two of which saw him take the starting role. He is a two-time national champion.

He played in 14 games in 2021 as a reserve linebacker and on special teams, with the Bulldogs going on to win the national championship. He also scored a pick-six during the season and logged 22 tackles, two sacks, two passes defended and 2.5 tackles for loss.

In 2022 he played in all 15 games for the undefeated Bulldogs, who would, again, lift the national championship, logging 70 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

Returning in 2023, Dumas-Johnson played in nine games, logging 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two passes defended.

Now moving to Lexington, Dumas-Johnson will look to make a big splash on the Wildcat defense in 2024.

Dec. 13, 2023

North Texas wide receiver Ja’Mori Maclin commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its fifth commitment from the transfer portal when North Texas wide receiver Ja’Mori Maclin committed to the Wildcats.

Maclin will look to fill the void left by Tayvion Robinson, who declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

A three-star prospect out of Kirkwood High School in Missouri, Kentucky will be Maclin’s third home after he initially committed to Missouri.

He played two seasons with the Tigers, logging three games played with one reception for five yards in 2020 before missing the 2021 season with injury.

Moving to Denton, Texas, and joining the Mean Green, Maclin played two more seasons, logging a combined 26 games with 73 receptions for 1,384 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2023 alone he logged 57 receptions for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Now moving to Lexington, Maclin will join names such as Dane Key and Barion Brown, as well as returning receiver Shamar Porter, in the wide receiver room for the 2024 season.

Dec. 12, 2023

Ohio State running back Chip Trayanum commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its fourth commitment from the transfer portal when Ohio State running back Chip Trayanum committed to the Cats.

Trayanum will hope to fill the void left by Ray Davis, who announced he will be entering the 2024 NFL Draft as one of the best running backs in Kentucky history.

Kentucky will be Trayanum’s third home in collegiate football as, prior to joining OSU, he committed to Arizona State as a four-star recruit out of Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio.

In Phoenix Trayanum played in 13 games and recorded 692 yards for 10 touchdowns on 127 attempts in two seasons.

Moving to Columbus ahead of the 2023 season, Trayanum played in nine games for the Buckeyes, attempting 66 rushes for 240 yards and two touchdowns.

He entered the transfer portal after one season with the Buckeyes and will join the Wildcats, who have, under head coach Mark Stoops, tended to recruit well out of the Ohio area.

Joining a room that is also losing Jutahn McClain, Trayanum will hope to be the No. 1 guy for the Cats in the 2024 season.

Cole Lanter to transfer out of Kentucky

The 13th player to announce his departure from Kentucky was wide receiver Cole Lanter.

A sophomore wide receiver out of Boyle County High School in Danville, Kentucky, Lanter played two years at Kentucky.

Lanter was likely most known by fans for being awarded a scholarship during fall camp ahead of the 2023 season after initially being a preferred walk-on.

Despite being placed on scholarship, Lanter could not seem to separate himself from the rest of the pack in the wide receiver room and will ultimately go elsewhere in an attempt to see the field in continuing his football career.

Dec. 11, 2023

Georgia Southern quarterback Beau Allen commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its third commitment from the transfer portal with its second quarterback.

Former Georgia Southern, Tarleton State and Kentucky quarterback Beau Allen announced on social media that he would be returning to Lexington after backup Kaiya Sheron left the program.

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Beau Allen (11) throws a pass during the UK football spring game on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

A four-star recruit out of Lexington Catholic High School, Allen committed to Kentucky and joined the Cats in 2020.

He redshirted as a freshman before seeing the field in three games as a redshirt freshman in 2021. He attempted four passes for nine yards and one touchdown.

Following his redshirt freshman season, Allen opted to depart Lexington, committing to Tarleton State at the FCS level.

Playing one season in Stephenville, he played in 11 games, throwing for 2,836 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushing for 110 yards and one touchdown. The Texans went 6-5 on the season and Allen re-entered the portal.

From Texas he committed to Georgia Southern back at the FBS level, but was forced to sit out the year due to it being his second transfer.

With Kentucky taking a major hit to its quarterback room following the 2023 season, Allen saw his opportunity to return to his hometown.

Allen will join incoming five-star transfer Brock Vandagriff and Deuce Hogan in the quarterback room in Lexington. Allen will likely compete with Hogan for the backup role, though he will likely have ambitions to earn the starting spot as well.

Elijah Reed to transfer out of Kentucky

The 13th player to announce his departure from Kentucky was defensive back Elijah Reed.

Kentucky Wildcats defensive back Elijah Reed (24) breaks up wide receiver Dane Key’s (6) catch in the end zone during the UK football spring game on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Reed logged the majority of his minutes on special teams at Kentucky as a redshirt freshman.

He committed to Kentucky out of Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Kentucky, as a three-star prospect. He took advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to high school athletes during Covid-19 after switching from wide receiver to DB.

He redshirted as a freshman at Kentucky after being a mid-year enrollee.

In 2023 he saw the field in all 12 games on special teams, recording his first tackle against Louisville.

Now looking for a new home, Reed entered the portal with three years of eligibility remaining.

A destination has not yet been announced.

Dec. 10, 2023

Zion Childress to return to Kentucky

Junior defensive back Zion Childress became the third Wildcat to formally announce a return to Lexington.

Kentucky defensive back Zion Childress (11) hunts down Mississippi State quarterback Mike Wright (14) during the Kentucky vs. Mississippi State football game on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. Photo by Isaiah Pinto | Staff (Isaiah Pinto)

Childress made the announcement on social media, writing, “After much prayer and consideration with my family, I have decided to return for my final year of eligibility.”

He joined the Wildcats as a transfer from Texas State ahead of the 2022 season. At Texas State he appeared in 24 games with 15 starts, recording 135 tackles, 76 solo tackles, two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, 10 passes defended and an interception.

Since joining the Wildcats he has continued to produce at a high level, playing in 25 games — ahead of Kentucky’s 2023 bowl game — with 13 starts, recording 85 tackles, 55 solo tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and five passes defended. In the 2023 season alone he started in all 12 games for 51 tackles, two of which were for a loss.

Childress will likely be a consistent starter for the Cats during the 2024 season and will bring a much-appreciated familiarity on the defense, especially with Andru Phillips leaving for the NFL Draft and Keaten Wade transferring out of the program.

Dec. 9, 2023

Texas A&M wide receiver Raymond Cottrell commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its second commitment from the transfer portal just days after Georgie quarterback Brock Vandagriff announced his intention to join the Wildcats.

Texas A&M wide receiver Raymond Cottrell announced he would be a Wildcat, adding much-needed support to a thin wide receivers room.

Cottrell made the announcement on social media, writing, “Thank you to the BBN, the support has been real…”

A four-star recruit out of Milton High School in Florida, Cottrell played one season in College Station before head coach Jimbo Fisher was fired.

The bulk of his playing time came outside of the SEC, seeing the field against New Mexico and recording his first touchdown against Louisiana-Monroe. He also played against Arkansas.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops was initially a front runner to leave Kentucky for the Aggies, but the deal fell through. Cottrell opted to play for Stoops anyway.

He will join a wide receiver room that includes returning juniors Barion Brown and Dane Key and will hope to help fill the hole left in an already thin room by the departure of Tayvion Robinson for the NFL Draft. Cottrell has four years of eligibility remaining.

Dec. 7, 2023

Jordan Dingle to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Dingle to return to Kentucky

The 12th player to announce his departure from Kentucky was tight end Jordan Dingle.

He made the announcement on his social media, writing, “Being a part of Big Blue Nation has been a great experience.”

Kentucky Wildcats tight end Jordan Dingle (85) scores a touchdown during the No. 13 Kentucky vs. South Carolina football game on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 24-14. Photo by Isabel McSwain | Staff (Isabel McSwain)

A sophomore out of Bowling Green High School in Kentucky, Dingle played three years at Kentucky after being graded a four-star prospect by ESPN.

Dingle redshirted as a freshman in 2021 but still saw action in four games, logging two receptions for 54 yards.

As a redshirt freshman in 2022 Dingle’s reps increased significantly, playing in 13 games with 12 starts and logging 20 receptions for 220 yards and three touchdowns.

This past season he saw his reps decrease, playing in 10 games with one start and logging just 11 receptions for 198 yards and no touchdowns.

Some outside of the program felt as though the tight end room was severely underutilized in the 2023 season under offensive coordinator Liam Coen, with Dingle’s greatest season coming under former OC Rich Scangarello, who was dismissed as the end of the 2022 season after a disappointing offensive year.

Dingle was the second tight end to announce his departure after Izayah Cummings did the same.

Dingle has not yet announced where he will continue his career, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

UPDATE: Dec. 16, 2023: Dingle withdrew his name from the transfer portal and will remain at Kentucky for the 2024 season. He will likely receive passes from the duo of five-star Brock Vandagriff and returning transfer Beau Allen. He announced his decision on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Dec. 6, 2023

Georgia quarterback Brock Vandagriff commits to Kentucky

Kentucky football secured its first commitment in lieu of a plethora of players announcing their departures.

Georgia backup quarterback Brock Vandagriff announced he would be a Wildcat, giving many Wildcat fans a much needed sigh of relief regarding the quarterback position.

Vandagriff made the announcement on social media, writing, “Ready to get to work.”

A five-star prospect out of Prince Avenue Christian High School in Bogart, Georgia, Vandagriff spent three years in Athens.

A redshirt sophomore in 2023, the quarterback even saw the field against Kentucky during the Bulldogs’ 51-13 win over the Cats in Athens.

He played in a total of 13 games for the Bulldogs, completing 12 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, always finding himself in a backup position behind both two-time National Championship winning quarterback Stetson Bennett and 2023 starter Carson Beck.

His commitment came at a key time for the Wildcats as he will be pivotal in helping head coach Mark Stoops and other recruiters to lock down other major players who may fill key holes on the roster ahead of the 2024 season.

With the SEC getting bigger, welcoming Texas and Oklahoma, in 2024 — with Kentucky itself even traveling to Austin, Texas, to face the Longhorns — having a five-star under center will likely be huge for Stoops and co.

Assuming he wins the starting position, the 2024 season will be the eighth consecutive in which the Wildcats have started a transfer quarterback.

Dec. 5, 2023

Kaiya Sheron to transfer out of Kentucky

The 11th player to announce his departure from Kentucky was backup quarterback Kaiya Sheron.

A sophomore out of Somerset High School in Somerset, Kentucky, Sheron played three years in Lexington after being graded a three-star prospect. He chose Kentucky over Arizona State and Cincinnati.

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Kaiya Sheron (12) hands the ball off during the Kentucky vs. No. 1 Georgia football game on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Georgia won 16-6. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

Sheron redshirted his freshman season in 2021 after enrolling mid-year.

Coming back as a redshirt freshman in 2022, he saw the field in four games, earning one start while starter Will Levis was injured, completing 17 passes.

His lone start was the Wildcats’ 24-14 loss against South Carolina at home. He briefly also saw the field in the Cats’ very next game, against Mississippi State, when Levis briefly left the game with shoulder problems.

He threw two touchdowns and one interception in 2022.

This past season, in 2023, Sheron saw the field in five games with no starts and completed just two passes for five yards. He saw the most action in Starkville against Mississippi State when starter Devin Leary left the game in the fourth quarter with eye issues.

With Kentucky making significant pushes for a portal quarterback, Sheron will likely depart Lexington for a team he will have a better chance of finding consistent minutes on. He was the second quarterback to depart the program after Destin Wade.

A destination for Sheron has not yet been decided.

Dec. 4, 2023

Keaten Wade to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Wade to Colorado

The tenth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was outside linebacker Keaten Wade, the twin brother of Destin.

Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Keaten Wade (20) scores a touchdown during the No. 8 Kentucky vs. Northern Illinois football game on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 31-23. Photo by Abby Szydlik | Staff (Abby Szydlik)

A sophomore out of Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Wade spent two years in Lexington after being ranked a four-star prospect along with his brother. He also chose Kentucky over Tennessee, Louisville and Virginia.

Unlike his brother, Keaten did not redshirt as a freshman, playing in all 13 games for the Wildcats and totaling 16 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also added a pass breakup.

He improved upon his performance this past year in 2023, totaling 35 tackles, 16 of which were solo, with three tackles for loss and one sack.

Wade played in all 12 of Kentucky’s games and became a key contributor, but was put in a difficult position when his brother made the decision to transfer.

Likely to follow his brother, Wade will depart Lexington.

A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Dec. 15, 2023: Wade, along with his brother, committed to play for Deion Sanders in Colorado. The decision was announced on social media.

Destin Wade to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Wade to Colorado

The ninth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was quarterback Destin Wade.

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Destin Wade (15) looks to throw the ball during the Kentucky vs. Iowa Music City Bowl football game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. UK lost 21-0. Photo by Isabel McSwain | Staff (Isabel McSwain)

A redshirt freshman out of Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Wade spent two years in Lexington after being ranked a four-star prospect and earning the title of “Mr. Football” in Tennessee. Wade chose Kentucky over Tennessee, Louisville and Virginia.

Wade announced his decision on social media, writing, “Thank you to the Kentucky staff for developing my skills throughout these two seasons.”

Wade redshirted as a freshman in 2022, though he recorded his first and only collegiate start against Iowa in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl.

In the bowl game Wade attempted 30 passes, 16 of which were completed, for 98 yards and two interceptions in the 21-0 loss.

This past season in 2023 Wade did not see the field as the third string quarterback behind starter Devin Leary and backup Kaiya Sheron.

Wade will likely look to find somewhere else where he can find consistent time on the field with three years of eligibility remaining.

A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Dec. 15, 2023: Wade, along with his brother, committed to play for Deion Sanders in Colorado. The decision was announced on social media.

Shamar Porter to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Porter to remain at Kentucky

The eighth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was wide receiver Shamar Porter.

A freshman out of Ensworth High School in Nashville, Tennessee, Porter was the highest ranked recruit in Kentucky’s 2023 class. He chose Lexington over Georgia, Tennessee and Ole Miss.

Ranked a four-star prospect out of high school, Porter redshirted during his first year at Kentucky this past season after suffering an injury in fall camp.

Struggling to find his footing after the injury, Porter’s time in Lexington was not what either side had hoped for, something that was further exasperated when wide receivers coach — and Porter’s primary recruiter — Scott Woodward being let go from the program.

Porter will have four years of eligibility remaining. A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Dec. 8, 2023: Porter withdrew his name from the transfer portal on Friday and will remain at Kentucky next season. He will be a redshirt freshman in the fall with quarterback Brock Vandagriff likely the man under center.

Dec. 1, 2023

Luke Fulton to transfer out of Kentucky

The seventh player to announce his departure from Kentucky was linebacker Luke Fulton.

A senior out of Youngstown, Ohio, Fulton played three years at Kentucky after transferring from Michigan State. He committed to the Spartans as a four-star prospect out of Cardinal Mooney High School.

At Michigan State Fulton redshirted his freshman year after playing in one game. He did not see the field in 2020 as a sophomore before transferring.

Moving to Lexington, Fulton’s claim to fame was special teams, where he played in 10 of the Cats’ 13 games in 2021.

In 2022 he saw special teams action in six games and even made the depth chart at linebacker after the room was rocked by injuries.

This past season Fulton played two games at linebacker, recording two tackles, one of which was solo, against Akron. He also defended a pass.

Fulton will have one year of collegiate eligibility remaining. A destination has not yet been decided.

JuTahn McClain to transfer out of Kentucky

The sixth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was running back JuTahn McClain.

Kentucky Wildcats running back JuTahn McClain (17) runs the ball down the field during the UK vs Iowa VRBO Citrus Bowl football game on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. UK won 20-17. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

A senior out of Fairfield, Ohio, McClain played four years at Kentucky after being graded a four-star prospect by ESPN out of Fairfield High School.

He made the announcement on social media, writing, “I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a grad transfer with two years of eligibility remaining.”

After being a mid-year enrollee, McClain played in 11 games as a freshman in 2020, totaling 16 carries for 62 yards.

As a sophomore in 2021, McClain over doubled his reps, attempting 34 rushes for 165 yards.

The 2022-23 season saw him make his first ever career start — in the bowl game against Iowa — with the season seeing McClain attempt 59 rushes for 278 yards.

Finally, in 2023, McClain played in 11 games, recording 26 attempts for 138 yards, one of which, at Vanderbilt, saw him score his first career rushing touchdown.

Struggling with injuries throughout his tenure in Lexington, McClain will likely look to finish his career elsewhere where he can earn more consistent reps and usage. Despite this, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops emphasized that McClain will play in the Wildcats’ bowl game against Clemson.

A destination has not yet been decided.

Nov. 29, 2023

Izayah Cummings to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Cummings to Louisville

The fifth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was tight end Izayah Cummings.

Kentucky Wildcats tight end Izayah Cummings (8) attempts to block a punt during the No. 22 Kentucky vs. No. 16 Mississippi State football game on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 27-17. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

A senior out of Louisville, Kentucky, Cummings played four years at Kentucky after being a three-star recruit out of Louisville Male High School.

He made the announcement on social media, writing, “I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a graduate transfer.”

Cummings played in a total of 47 games during his career in Lexington, starting in four and logging 18 receptions for 293 yards.

His best season came in 2021, the first year of Will Levis and the year he switched from wide receiver to tight end, when he logged 14 receptions for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

In the 2023 season Cummings logged four receptions for 98 yards, and average of 24.5 yards per catch.

With the tight end room remaining deep at Kentucky and Cummings struggling for targets, the veteran made the decision to finish his career elsewhere.

A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Dec. 18, 2023: Cummings announced on social media that he will be joining Kentucky’s rival and his hometown team in the form of Louisville.

Nov. 28, 2023

Grant Bingham to transfer out of Kentucky

The fourth player to announce his departure from Kentucky was offensive lineman Grant Bingham.

Ranked a four-star recruit, and the No. 3 overall recruit in the state of Kentucky in 2021, out of Johnson Central High School in Johnson County, Kentucky, Bingham redshirted his freshman year.

The 2023 season was his second in Lexington, though he did not see the field at any point.

Bingham made the announcement on social media, writing, “I will be entering my name into the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility.”

As he stated, Bingham will have three years of eligibility remaining. A destination has not yet been announced.

Marques Cox to return to Kentucky

Offensive lineman Marques Cox became the second Wildcats to formally announce a return to Lexington for his final season of eligibility.

Kentucky offensive lineman Marques Cox gets in a scuffle with players during the Kentucky vs. Missouri football game on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 38-21. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

Cox made the announcement on Twitter/X, sharing a video from “The Wolf of Wall Street” that depicts Leonardo DiCaprio’s character loudly announcing he “Isn’t leaving.”

The video was accompanied by a statement that said, “I have decided that it is in my best interest to return for my seventh year of eligibility.”

Cox joined the Cats as a transfer from Northern Illinois ahead of the 2023 season. At NIU he had previously redshirted and taken advantage of his Covid year, thus explaining the seven years of eligibility.

In Lexington Cox started all 12 of the Cats’ games on the offensive line.

He was the second offensive lineman to announce his return after fellow Cox Eli (Eli Cox) also announced his return. Similar to his teammate, Cox’s return will likely be integral for the Cats as they pursue a new quarterback in the transfer portal.

Dekel Crowdus to transfer out of Kentucky

Wide receiver Dekel Crowdus also announced he would be joining the transfer portal on Tuesday.

Kentucky Wildcats tight end Jordan Dingle (85) celebrates with wide receiver Dekel Crowdus (3) after scoring a touchdown during the Kentucky vs. Missouri football game on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. UK won 21-17. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

Crowdus made a social media post regarding his decision, writing, “Thank you to BBN and my coaches for their unwavering support and guidance throughout my journey… I will be entering my name into the transfer portal…”

A sophomore wide receiver out of Frederick Douglas High School in Lexington, Kentucky, Crowdus was ranked a four-star prospect by 247Sports, the No. 3 prospect in the state of Kentucky.

The receiver redshirted his freshman year after injury in 2021 before seeing the field in 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2022. He had four receptions for 82 yards.

This past season, 2023, he saw the field in 10 games, but did not log any receptions with no targets.

Crowdus will have two years of eligibility remaining. A destination has not yet been decided.

Offensive lineman Eli Cox to return for sixth and final year

In a 180 from players leaving the program, veteran lineman Eli Cox announced he would be returning to Lexington for one final year.

Kentucky offensive lineman Eli Cox walks off the field after the Kentucky vs. Florida football game on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 33-14. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

In a post on social media Cox wrote, “I’m excited to announce that I’m returning to UK for my sixth and final season!”

A senior out of West Jessamine High School in Nicholasville, Kentucky, Cox was given a three-star recruiting ranking by 247Sports and Rivals.com. He chose Kentucky over Cincinnati, Marshall, Ohio University and Toledo.

Cox has played five seasons at Kentucky, redshirting as a freshman, and playing in a combined 43 games.

In the 2023 season Cox started every game on the offensive line for the Wildcats after starting every game of the 2022 season at center. In 2023 he began the season at right guard before transitioning back to center.

Cox’s return is a big one for the Cats, who have struggled with offensive line play in recent years. With the Cats in search of a new quarterback, having a veteran like Cox return for one more year could be the difference in a player’s decision to choose Lexington.

Jamarius Dinkins to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Dinkins to Purdue

Sophomore defensive lineman Jamarius Dinkins announced he would be entering the transfer portal on Tuesday.

A three-star recruit by both 247Sports and Rivals.com out of Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus, Ohio, Dinkins had three seasons in Lexington. He chose Kentucky over Michigan State.

As a freshman in 2021 Dinkins played in three games before redshirting. As a redshirt freshman in 2022 he played in nine games, logging nine tackles and a sack.

This past season he saw the field in 11 games, logging nine tackles, three of which were solo tackles.

Dinkins announced his decision on social media, writing, “I’ve been blessed to be a Wildcat, but I feel it’s in my best interest to enter the transfer portal.”

Dinkins will have two years of eligibility remaining. A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Dec. 10, 2023: It was revealed by On3 and eventually Dinkins himself on social media that Dinkins committed to Purdue to play for head coach Ryan Walters.

Nov. 27, 2023

Jalen Geiger to transfer out of Kentucky — UPDATE: Geiger to Tulane

The first domino to fall for Kentucky football came just two days after the Cats’ final regular season game against No. 10 Louisville in which the Cats won 38-31 to finish the season 7-5.

Kentucky defensive back Jalen Geiger takes a call during the Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky football game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 28-17. Photo by Abbey Cutrer | Staff (Abbey Cutrer)

Cornerback Jalen Geiger announced he would enter the transfer portal after five years in Lexington. Geiger was one of only three players remaining at Kentucky from the 2019 class.

Ranked a three-star defensive back by 247Sports, Geiger was the No. 9 overall recruit and No. 2 corner in the state of South Carolina according to Rivals.com, coming out of Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina. He picked UK over schools like South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina.

Geiger played in three games as a freshman in 2019 before redshirting in 2020.

He played in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2021 with two starts and recorded 18 tackles, including a tackle for loss.

He battled injury issues in 2022, limiting him to just two games, before seeing the field in 10 games this season. He recorded nine tackles in 2023, four of which were solo tackles.

With one year of eligibility remaining, Geiger will look to finish his collegiate career elsewhere. A destination has not yet been decided.

UPDATE: Jan. 6, 2024: Geiger announced on social media that he will be joining the Tulane Green Wave for the 2024 season. He will play for head coach Jon Sumrall, who previously was the head coach at Troy and coached at Kentucky in numerous roles including co-defensive coordinator.

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