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Pitt linebacker Leslie Smith enters transfer portal

NCAA Football: New Hampshire at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt linebacker Leslie Smith entered the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday. The redshirt sophomore was the first member of Pitt's 2019 recruiting class, but after joining the Panthers two years ago, he played a limited role.

All told, Smith played in just eight games over the past three seasons, and he missed the 2020 season due to an injury. But in the eight games that Smith played in, he only managed to come up with seven total tackles.

The 5’11”, 210-pound linebacker committed to Pitt on June 10, 2018. At the time, he was a three-star prospect out of Northwestern High School in Miami with 18 scholarship offers to choose from. However, Pitt was the only Power Five program that pursued Smith.

Pitt pursued Smith after a standout junior season at Northwestern in which he amassed 90 total tackles, including 52 solo tackles and 10.5 sacks. He also chipped in an interception and a fumble recovery that season.

With Smith unable to climb the depth chart at Pitt after conceding playing time to the likes of SirVocea Dennis, Brandon George and Bangally Kamara, it seems likely he will move on to a more linebacker-needy program. And with the quality of competition that beat him out at Pitt, a move to a non-Power Five program looks to be the most probable next step.