The latest entry into the transfer portal is the least surprising for Maryland football. Quarterback Backup Reese Odinsky I entered the gate, an expected move with the star quarterback Taulia Tagoviloa Back next season.
Odinsky, a former VMI notable quarterback, committed to Maryland last spring despite Tagovailoa’s return as a starter for Maryland. After tearing up the ACL late in the season at VMI, he mostly recovered from fall camp, but never threatened to beat Tagovailoa for the job. It appeared at the time that Tagovailoa might leave for the NFL after this season, paving the way for Odinsky, who is considered a potential NFL pick, to start next year. But with Tagovailoa plotting a comeback, it seemed like an inevitable outcome Odinsky would be moving somewhere where he could start and showcase his talent in the NFL.
With the Pennsylvania native gone, Maryland is once again dangerously low in the middle. The Terps expected to have two signers in the position, but one of them, Georgia’s top AJ Swann, has shifted his commitment to Vanderbilt. This leaves only Tagovailoa and the next student Jayden Surrey As the team’s only Scholarships squad players, Locksley will be looking to tackle him through the gate.
“VMI doesn’t offer an alumni program so I couldn’t go back if I wanted to. Lots of other FBS schools reached out to me, but I really liked the school and the instructors [at Maryland. At the end of the day, I really wanted an opportunity to prove my ability on the next level because I’ve done it on the FBS level,” Udinski told InsideMDSports last spring. “I love coach Locks. He’s not only a great coach, but he’s a great person to be around. I know he has a strong vision for what he wants Maryland football to become and I want to be a part of that. He said he sees the potential that I have but he’s not going to give anybody anything and I respect that a lot.”
Udinski could be a hot commodity. As a junior, he led the Southern Conference in passing and broke his own VMI single-season passing record, with 3,276 yards, and he set single-season school records for total offense (3,155 yards) and completion percentage (63.9 percent). His 19 touchdown passes were the second-most in school history. He also set a record by throwing 344 consecutive passes without an interception.
In four games as a senior, he led VMI to its first 4-0 start since 1981 and its first-ever FCS national ranking while completing 71.5 percent of his passes for 1,082 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks. He ranks sixth in SoCon history with a VMI-record 7,877 passing yards in his career.
The NCAA introduced the transfer portal on Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.
While a player entering 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.
There were 2,646 FBS players to enter the transfer portal during the 2020-21 transfer cycle, per a source. That’s up from 1,692 in 2019-20 and 1,717 in 2018-19.
That increase can at least partially be credited to the NCAA’s new policy that student-athletes are allowed to transfer once in their careers without having to sit out a year in-residence. That means all players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school as long as they meet an NCAA-mandated entry deadline.