Ole Miss veteran linebacker makes shocking portal withdrawal
Oxford, Mississippi - After four years with Ole Miss football under two different head coaches, fifth-year senior Ashanti Cistrunk will reportedly remain a Rebel for his final college football season.
Just last month, the Rebels were in jeopardy of losing their star-studded roster when the program lost four players, including Cistrunk, to the transfer portal.
"Moments and memories I've experienced here will always be cherished within my heart," the 6-foot-1 linebacker said in his initial transfer statement. "This has been a difficult decision, but I have decided to enter my name in the Transfer Portal."
Now, it seems the experienced Rebel has had a change of heart and will no longer transfer out of the program, and he has officially removed his name from the portal.
While Cistrunk's reasoning for remaining at Ole Miss has not yet been disclosed, perhaps hiring former Alabama defensive coordinator and linebackers coach influenced his stay.
The Mississippi native's return to the Rebels will be a major boost to the linebackers squad and also on special teams.
During the 2022 season at Ole Miss, Cistrunk played in all 13 games for the Rebels, and earned one start. As a key reserve, he tallied 72 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, and one forced fumble.
Will Ashanti Cistrunk lose his scholarship?
While every college football player has the freedom to enter the transfer portal, once a student-athlete's name appears in the portal, the player's current scholarship is no longer required to – even if the student decides to stay.
With Cistrunk no longer leaving Ole Miss, will head coach Lane Kiffin honor his scholarship? This is a question Kiffin will surely have to answer in the coming weeks.
Cistrunk will make his first appearance ahead of the 2023-24 fall season at the Rebels' annual Grove Bowl spring game on April 15 at 3 PM EST.
Cover photo: JUSTIN FORD / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP