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Report: Linebacker Eric Gentry Enters Transfer Portal

Eric Gentry was one of Arizona State's top defensive players heading into 2022.

Nearly two weeks after the dust has settled from spring practice, Arizona State had planned to move forward with a strong defense to lead the team heading into the 2022 season. 

Now, perhaps their biggest name has decided to leave.

On Thursday morning, Sun Devils linebacker Eric Gentry reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to 247 Sports

The move comes as a surprise, as Gentry told reporters earlier this spring how much of a bond he and his teammates created in the offseason. 

"(It feels like we have our) backs against the wall," said Gentry. "People don't believe in us, not everybody thinks we can be the same team as we were last year. They'll find out during the season, during the spring game, whatever. Honestly, I'm proud of this team and everybody from the defense. No matter if you're a one or three (on the depth chart), you got a voice.

"I'd say (the team is) more chippier. It's a lot of opportunities to be (had), so everybody (is) hungry to get it. If you can see during the whole practice, we got a real competitive defense. It don't matter what it is, even when we were in strength conditioning it was competitive."

Now, Gentry becomes the 12th Arizona State player since last November to enter the transfer portal, and the first to seek other options after the conclusion of spring practice. 

DevilsDigest.com reports that the move is "entirely NIL driven." 

Gentry's size (6-foot-6, 205 pounds) combined with his athleticism saw him earn more playing time over the course of his freshman season in 2021. Gentry made a handful of impactful plays despite not being a perennial starter the entire year. He had 45 tackles, two passes defended and one sack. 

He was a freshman All-American and flashed potential to be one of ASU's best defensive players in the years to come.

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Arizona State returns linebackers Merlin Robertson and Kyle Soelle to the lineup, with second-string player Connor Soelle expected to emerge as a candidate to start in 2022 after Gentry's departure. 

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