Illinois has been on the right side of the football portal throughout the offseason. Now, Lovie Smith‘s crew finds themselves on the wrong end. Maybe.
On social media, Jordan Holmes announced that he is no longer a member of the Illinois football team. The wide receiver gave no indication as to the reason behind his impending departure.
Holmes also didn’t indicate whether or not he would be entering the NCAA transfer database.
Below is Holmes’ entire social-media statement, via 247Sports.com:
This will be a surprise for many of you but my time as a football player at the University of Illinois has come to a close. I want to say thank you to everyone who made living out my dream possible. The game of football has brought me so many friendships, experiences and memories that I’ll cherish forever.
First off, I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play at the Division 1 level in the B1G. Thank you to my parents and the rest of my family for all the constant love and support you gave me throughout this entire experience. I couldn’t have done this without you all by my side. To everyone from my small town of Columbia, IL, this is where it all started for me and you all helped me stay the course to get to where I am today and I can’t thank you all enough.
To my teammates, I love you all from the bottom of my heart and the bonds we created will stay with me forever. You all pushed me every single day to be my best and helped me through the times that got tough. Thank you for all the lifelong memories we created, I won’t forget the times we had together at practice, on road trips, in the locker room and on game days, those are all things that will stay with me forever.
Illini Nation, THANK YOU. You are the best fans in the nation and I won’t forget the 2 years I had playing in front of y’all.
This is the end of my journey, thank you to everyone who made this experience so special to me, I will always bleed Orange & Blue.
So, if Holmes does continue his playing career and enters the portal? Here we go…
Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.
As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.
NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.
Holmes, a junior, appeared in 19 games for Illinois football. In his time with the Fighting Illini, Holmes caught four passes for 39 yards. He also returned 13 punts for 75 yards. His 10 returns for 73 yards were tops on the team this past season.
On the positive side for the Illini? Illinois has added seven transfers to its football roster this offseason. Five of those come from Power Five programs.
In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Shortly thereafter, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. New Mexico State wide receiver Desmond Dan did the same. As did Miami wide receiver Brian Hightower. And Mississippi State offensive lineman Brevyn Jones as well in early May And Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith last week mid-May. And Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu that same month.