Former Alabama and Houston player, and current UT Martin defender Eyabi Anoma has entered the NCAA transfer portal, according to Chris Hummer of 247Sports. It becomes the third time that Anoma, a former Alabama five-star signee, expressed intentions to transfer away from his current school.
A coveted prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, Anoma signed with Alabama as the No. 3 overall player in the country, choosing the Crimson Tide over Michigan, Florida, Georgia and others. During his one season at Alabama, Anoma had nine tackles, two of which were for loss, and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. He left Alabama after just one season and transferred to Houston. Anoma redshirted in the 2019 season and then transferred to UT Martin after he was dismissed by the Cougars for a violation of team rules.
Anoma missed the 2020 season while sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules. In 2021, Anoma got back onto the field and made his presence felt. Anoma was an All-Ohio Valley Conference pick and on the OVC All-Newcomer Team in 2021 after recording 36 tackles, 9.5 of which were for loss, and 6.0 sacks on the season. Anoma was on the Bluebloods Preseason All-Conference Team, but now it appears he will not play the 2022 season at UT Martin.
While there has been plenty of movement in his career, the talent that Anoma has in his game is undeniable. Coming out of high school, Anoma was projected to be a key contributor due to his ability as analyzed by the scouts.
“Anoma brings pure athleticism and speed to the edge, and as he develops his technique, he has a chance to be a dominant pass-rushing defensive end,” 247Sports national analyst Brian Dohn wrote in his evaluation of Anoma. “He is explosive, has the flexibility to dip his shoulder and get around the edge, and he accelerates to the ball carrier. He has the speed to chase a play down from behind, and he changes direction well. He needs to develop technique so he can use more than speed, and strength will enable him to disengage more quickly.”
In its lone season with Anoma on the field, UT Martin made some noise on the FCS level. The Skyhawks went 9-2 in the regular season and advanced to the FCS Playoffs. UT Martin faced Missouri State in the first round, winning by one point, and then lost to Montana State in the second round, ending the season.
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While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.