Just two days after the UCLA football team lost to Cal in its season finale at the Rose Bowl, linebackers Tyree Thompson and Noah Keeter announced on social media on Monday that they have entered their names into the NCAA transfer portal, hoping to continue their college careers elsewhere.

Thompson, a graduate, leaves after two seasons with the Bruins. He played all 12 games in 2018 and finished the season fourth on the team with 55 tackles. He did not play this season after having surgery on his foot during fall training camp.

He enrolled at UCLA in April 2018 as a redshirt junior after playing at L.A. Valley Junior College and Sacramento State. In 2017, he played 10 games at L.A. Valley and recorded 51 tackles (including 11 tackles for loss), while balancing a full course load and a part-time job as a janitor. Thompson attended Sacramento State in 2015 and 2016, playing one season. He redshirted his first year at UCLA and played in nine games in his second.

The 2015 graduate of Alemany High in Mission Hills, he was ranked as the No. 3 inside linebacker and the No. 18 recruit in California by 247Sports.com coming out of high school. Thompson has exhausted his college eligibility but indicated on Twitter that he intends to petition the NCAA for a waiver that would allow him to play an additional season.

β€œI am grateful to have had the opportunity to compete at the Rose Bowl with my coaches and teammates,” Thompson tweeted. β€œI am so proud to say that I have a degree from the number one public institution.”

Keeter, a freshman from Gainesville, Fla., did not play in a game for the Bruins this season.

The NCAA introduced the portal last October as a way to give 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. Players entering their name in the transfer portal signals that they intend to explore their options, but it does not mean they will leave. Players can and have withdrawn their names at any time, though schools have no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once he has entered the portal.

LA Daily News