The regular season is over, which means we are days away from the opening of the NCAA transfer portal. In this day and age of the sport, coaches have to learn to expect departures for the portal, and Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze is no different.
The first two players who announced their intentions to enter the transfer portal were defensive linemen Enyce Sledge and Stephen Johnson. Sledge tweeted out his announcement on Nov. 27, the Monday after the Iron Bowl, and Johnson’s announcement came shortly after on Nov. 28.
Now, the third Auburn football player has decided to seek playing opportunities elsewhere. Wide receiver Omari Kelly, a 4-star prospect from the Tigers’ recruiting class of 2022, has declared his intentions to enter the portal once it opens on December 4. A sophomore receiver, Kelly racked up 101 yards on five catches after two season on the Plains.
In his note, Kelly thanked both coaching staffs that he played under while on the Auburn football team and mentioned that there is no love lost when it comes to Auburn, and that he is grateful for his time in orange and blue.
The Tigers’ coaching staff is expected to add several players to the wide receiver room in this offseason after production was mostly disappointing this season. The impact of the loss of Kelly is pretty neutral—he was not a likely candidate to move up in the rotation in 2024 but losing depth can’t be labeled as a good thing.
Two receivers have already committed to the Tigers in the recruiting class of 2024, including 5-star Perry Thompson, and there is still the opportunity to add another, but we can still expect to see wide receivers brought in from the transfer portal just as we can likely expect more Auburn football players to depart.