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Oregon loses second season-opening starter to transfer

For the second time this season, a player who started Oregon’s opener has departed the football program.

The most recent to do as much is AJ Hotchkins, who announced on Twitter that he has “decided to part ways with the [U]niversity of Oregon in order to explore other options regarding graduate school.” The linebacker, who suffered an injury earlier this year, apologized to his teammates “for not being able to play out the remainder of this season thus letting you guys down.”

Hotchkins suffered an ankle injury in September that prematurely ended his season. Because of that injury, though, he’ll be able to take a medical redshirt for this season, thus leaving him with one more season of eligibility that he can use in 2018.

A junior college transfer who joined UO as part of its 2016 recruiting class, Hotchkins started six games during his time with the Ducks, including the 2017 opener against Southern Utah.

In late September, Khalil Oliver confirmed that he will be transferring from UO as well. Like Hotchkins, Oliver suffered an injury that kept him off the field prior to his decision to transfer.