Kentucky running back Travis Tisdale enters NCAA transfer portal

Kentucky running back Travis Tisdale (33) is among several Wildcats from the 2021 team who entered the NCAA transfer portal. (Ryan C. Hermens/
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Travis Tisdale, a running back at the University of Kentucky, entered the NCAA transfer portal on Tuesday.

UK confirmed Tisdale’s entry into the portal, which came a day after quarterback Nik Scalzo and offensive lineman Jake Pope declared their intentions to enter the portal.

Of the three, Tisdale had played the most, though he only played in one game this season; he rushed for 4 yards on one carry in UK’s win over Louisiana Monroe to open the season. He rushed for 57 yards on five carries as a true freshman, most of them coming in UK’s win over UT Martin; he scored his only career touchdown against the Skyhawks. Tisdale appeared in seven games last season, mostly as a special-teams contributor. He has rushed for 82 yards on 12 carries as a Wildcat.

JuTahn McClain, signed as part of the 2020 recruiting class, passed up Tisdale as part of the running back rotation, as did true freshman La’Vell Wright. With Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke commanding the lion’s share of carries in 2021, and those two competing for time under them and into the future, Tisdale’s opportunities to contribute on the field seemed scarce going forward. That would be even more true if Rodriguez were to forego the NFL Draft and return for his senior season.

Tisdale, a 5-foot-9, 173-pound sophomore who will have up to three years of eligibility at his next school, signed with UK over reported offers from Nebraska, Ole Miss and Penn State. He was rated as a four-star recruit and top-300 player, nationally, by ESPN; both 247Sports and Rivals rated him as a three-star prospect coming out of high school. He’s a native of Valdosta, Ga.

Pope, Scalzo and Tisdale all were members of the Wildcats’ 2019 signing class. Six players in that class transferred prior to the 2021 season: defensive tackle Cavon Butler (now at Toledo), defensive back M.J. Devonshire (Pittsburgh), quarterback Amani Gilmore (North Texas), linebacker Shawnkel Knight-Goff, tight end Nik Ognenovic (Akron) and linebacker Tra Wilkins (now at Buffalo after transferring to a junior college).

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