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Why Maryland makes sense for transferring Alabama DE Eyabi Anoma

The Baltimore native is back in the transfer portal, and the Terps could be a prime landing spot.

Alabama Spring Game Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Alabama defensive end Eyabi Anoma has resurfaced in the NCAA transfer portal, reigniting rumors of a possible landing spot in College Park.

The former five-star recruit previously entered the portal back in February, but a talk with head coach Nick Saban led to the withdrawal from his name within just 24 hours.

In a statement provided to The Tuscoloosa News on Friday, Alabama’s Associate Vice President for Communications stated, “Eyabi Anoma is currently not attending classes at The University of Alabama.”

A report from on Sunday further noted that Anoma had been suspended by the university at a level higher than the football program, and also added that he had entered the portal.

Anoma was recruited to Alabama from the St. Frances Academy (Md.) by then-Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. That connection fuels the prospects of Maryland becoming a potential landing spot for the former No. 1 player out of Maryland and No. 4 player in the country in 2018.

As a freshman in 2018, Anoma recorded nine tackles, including two tackles for a loss, in six games. This past spring, Anoma took advantage of more first-team reps in practice with redshirt junior Terrell Lewis out due to an injury. In the spring game, Anoma tallied three tackles and a sack.

Ever since enrolling at Alabama, Anoma has been making trips back and forth between Tuscaloosa and Maryland to spend time with his family, and towards the end of 2018 he detailed that his grandmother was sick. He’s been vocal about the close bond he shares with his grandmother and in 2017 detailed to ESPN that he wears the No. 9 because it’s her favorite number.

On June 26, 2019, the NCAA announced adjustments to transfer waiver guidelines, making things more lenient for players looking to transfer schools due to legitimate reasons. In Anoma’s case, a player can transfer to a program within 100 miles of their home if they or a family member has documented health issues, and the player has a role in providing care.

Locksley has made the most of the transfer market since taking over as head coach of the Terps, bringing in quarterback Josh Jackson, linebackers Keandre Jones and Shaq Smith, cornerback Sean Savoy and tight end Tyler Mabry. Jones remains the only player to transfer in awaiting an eligibility ruling — Jackson, Smith and Mabry were graduate transfers, while Savoy received clearance from the NCAA.

A player of Anoma’s caliber would be a major boost to a position of need for the Terps, but a number of moving parts keep a potential transfer just a rumor for now. If Anoma decides to try and play football in 2019 or beyond, though, look for Locksley make a serious push to bring the local product back home.