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Mizzou cornerback Christian Holmes enters NCAA's transfer portal

Mizzou cornerback Christian Holmes enters NCAA's transfer portal

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Missouri defensive back Christian Holmes celebrates a tackle during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Southeast Missouri State Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Cornerback Christian Holmes, one of Missouri's most experienced defensive players, has entered the NCAA's transfer portal, MU confirmed Thursday.

The redshirt junior from Leland, Miss., played every game the last two seasons with 12 starts, though he lost his starting job to sophomore Jarvis Ware for most of the 2019 season. He rejoined the starting lineup late in the year to replace injured senior DeMarkus Acy. Holmes will be a graduate transfer, meaning he'll be able to transfer to another FBS program without having to sit out the 2020 season. He did not respond to messages seeking comment about his decision.

On Friday, Holmes posted a lengthy message on Twitter announcing his plans to transfer after earning his undergraduate degree this spring.

Holmes was a breakout player for the Tigers in 2018 with 36 tackles, a team-high 12 pass breakups and two interceptions. His 14 passes defended ranked second in the Southeastern Conference. His production fell off this past season when he broke up just four passes with no interceptions and 29 tackles.

His departure will leave the Tigers with five returning scholarship cornerbacks in Ware, Adam Sparks, Chris Shearin, Chris Mills and Ish Burdine. MU signed two high school recruits in December who could play cornerback or safety, Jaylon Carlies and Tyler Jones.

TWO-YEAR DEAL FOR OL COACH

Newly hired Mizzou offensive line coach Marcus Johnson agreed to a two-year contract that will pay him $500,000 per year before incentives. MU released Johnson's contract Wednesday. He comes to MU from Mississippi State, where he held the same position the last two years. MU released contract details for the rest of Eliah Drinkwitz's new coaches last week. 

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