Jackson State University football linebacker Junior Heimuli, announced on social media that he has entered the transfer portal just 18 days ahead of the start of the season.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, I must make the difficult decision to pursue other options and explore new academic and athletic paths,” Heimuli tweeted his decision on his X account.
He went on to say his recruitment is now 100 percent open.
Jackson State football takes a hard hit as the announcement comes one week after former Jackson State defensive end John Graves III transferred to Florida A&M University.
Heimuli committed to Jackson State earlier this year after playing two seasons of JUCO football at Snow College. He recorded 31 tackles and three pass deflections in seven games last season.
Jackson State has had more than a dozen defensive players to enter the transfer portal this year since former head coach Deion Sanders departed to coach the University of Colorado. The mass exodus will figures to make it difficult for the Tigers to repeat their great defensive performance last year with averaging 13.7 allowed points per game.
The Tigers defense has lost key players such as Graves, defensive lineman Nyles Gaddy and KaTron Evans; safeties Shilo Sanders and Cam’Ron Slimon-Craig, and defensive back and wide receiver Travis Hunter to name a few.
First-year Jackson State football coach T.C. Taylor and Johnathan Bradley will have the challenge of putting together a defense without majority of last season’s roster.
Losing players this close to the season is setback that many teams will have difficulty overcoming, but as a player transferring this close to the start of the season will be a more difficult task.
Heimuli has two years of eligibility left.