Georgia football 5-star linebacker Mekhail ‘MJ’ Sherman enters transfer portal

Georgia outside linebacker Mekhail Sherman (8) during the Bulldogs’ game against Arkansas on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS — Junior outside linebacker MJ Sherman has entered the transfer portal, looking for an opportunity to get the sort of playing time many expected when he signed with Georgia.

Sherman leaves the Bulldogs after he logged just 42 defensive snaps in nine games, but he played a team-high 226 special teams snaps over the course of all 15 games.

Sherman, a former 5-star prospect from St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C., was the only outside linebacker UGA took in a 2020 recruiting cycle that including outgoing SEC stars Will Anderson and BJ Ojulari.

RELATED: Family fuels football career of Georgia LB Mekhail ‘MJ’ Sherman

Sherman, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound defender, shared this fall how being a part of Georgia’s national championship program has helped him grow in many ways.

“I would say I grew a lot, more so in the sense where humility was part of that and a lot of understanding and connection was a part of that, too,” Sherman said. “Smart, he preaches that best about connection … and that’s one of the things that really helped me stay grounded and humble throughout the process of being a reserve.

“What does it matter for me to throw up my hands, and complain and kick rocks on the ground instead of just appreciating where I’m at and understanding how to learn from those guys in front of me?”

Sherman became an important part of Georgia’s special teams units, which rank among the best in the nation.

He’s become a key cog in our special teams,” Smart said earlier this season. “He had some really big plays on kickoff Saturday and he’s a leader on the punt block and return team. I’m just really proud of the maturity he’s shown, and he’s gotten a lot better as an outside linebacker, too.”

Sherman’s improvement will likely translate immediately with his next opportunity.

He is the eighth UGA player to enter the transfer portal after the 2022 regular season.

Here is a list of the Georgia players in portal at time of this publication with national recruiting rank and class (per the 247Sports composite), and snaps played this season:

• TE Arik Gilbert, 2020, No. 5

• CB Jaheim Singletary, 2022, No. 27

• OLB Mekhail ‘MJ” Sherman, 2020, No. 33

• ILB Trezman Marshall, 2019, No. 122

• DL Bill Norton, 2019, No. 161*

• TE Ryland Goede, 2019, No. 236

• OL Jacob Hood, 2022, No. 426

• TE Brett Seither, 2019, No. 733

* has transferred to Arizona

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