MU defensive lineman Utsey enters transfer portal

Wilson Moore

Missouri defensive tackle Markell Utsey has entered the transfer portal, a team spokesperson confirmed Friday afternoon.

Utsey, a redshirt senior, annouced in January he would exercise his extra year of eligibility granted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It would have been his sixth season with Missouri.

The Little Rock, Arkansas, native finishes his career in Columbia appearing in 42 games and making 40 total tackles, four for a loss.

Kobie Whiteside had 6.5 sacks in 2019 and will likely start at defensive tackle in 2021 even after injuries limited him to five games last year. Utsey’s departure potentially opens up playing time at the other tackle spot for junior college transfer Realus George Jr. or senior Akial Byers.

The Tigers will also have a different defensive line coach from last year in Jethro Franklin, who joined the staff in January after a six-season stint coaching in the NFL.