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LSU quarterback TJ Finley enters transfer portal

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LSU took a hit to its quarterback depth.

TJ Finley, who started five games for the Tigers in 2020, announced that he will pursue a transfer. News of Finley’s plans emerged on Wednesday and his name appeared in the transfer portal on Thursday morning.

Finley also released a statement confirming his decision to transfer.

"Being a part of LSU's football team has been a dream come true and is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life," Finley said. "Although my time has come to an end as a LSU football player, I wish my former teammates and the coaching staff a successful upcoming season. Change is never easy, but is needed for growth."

Finley was one of three quarterbacks who started multiple games for LSU last season. Myles Brennan, Joe Burrow’s backup in 2018 and 2019, opened the year as the starter but went down with a season-ending injury during the team’s third game.

Brennan’s injury opened the door for Finley and Max Johnson to see plenty of playing time as the season progressed. Finley was the first to get the call. In his six games (five starts), Finley threw for 941 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 57% of his passes. During that span, Finley threw for 265 yards and two TDs in a win over South Carolina and led a game-winning touchdown drive on the road against Arkansas.

Johnson, though, ended up seeing more time as the season progressed and led LSU’s upset road victory over No. 6 Florida. He also threw for 435 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Ole Miss. Johnson finished the year with 1,069 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception through the air.

Both Finley and Johnson were freshmen in 2020.

With Finley moving on, Brennan, Johnson and true freshman Garrett Nussmeier, a four-star recruit who enrolled early, are the top three quarterbacks on LSU’s depth chart. Local reports out of Baton Rouge indicated that Brennan and Johnson were the main competitors for the starting job during spring practice.

The 6-foot-6, 242-pound Finley is a native of Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He was a three-star recruit in the class of 2020.

LSU quarterback TJ Finley (11) takes a snap against Texas A&M during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
LSU quarterback TJ Finley (11) takes a snap against Texas A&M during the first half Nov. 28, 2020, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

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