Illinois linebacker transferring

Illinois linebacker transferring

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois linebacker Jacob Hollins announced late Monday afternoon he would transfer after one season with the program. Hollins played primarily on special teams in eight games in the 2018 season as a true freshman, finishing with seven tackles. He had a career high three tackles and his lone half tackle for loss in the Illin's loss at Wisconsin.

"I want to thank Coach (Lovie) Smith for giving me the opportunity to come play and continue my education for the University of Illinois," Hollins said in a note on Twitter. "I also want to thank the academic staff for being there for me and helping me through the year.

"I appreciate and love all of my brothers. Through the hard work, sweat, tears, and all the laughs I will forever remember all of it. With that being said I will be leaving the University of Illinois. I am officially in the transfer portal."

Hollins was considered a two-star recruit by 247Sports and three-star recruit by Rivals when he signed with Illinois in February 2018. The Fresno, Calif., native chose the Illini over other offers from Fresno State and Idaho.

Illinois bolstered its linebacker depth this spring, moving both Delano Ware and Dawson DeGroot from safety. While the Illini don't have an official two-deep, Ware had already started receiving first team reps. Four-star linebacker Shammond Cooper will also join the team this summer.

Hollins is the 12th scholarship player Illinois has lost since the start of the 2018 season and 10th transfer, with both safety Bennett Williams and tight end Lou Dorsey being dismissed from the team. Also leaving the Illini in the last eight months were wide receiver Carmoni Green, quarterback Cam Thomas, offensive linemen Reuben Unije, Larry Boyd, Adam Solomon, Zeke Martin and Andrew Trainer, cornerback Cameron Watkins and linebacker Jimmy Marchese.