Sophomore safety Otis Reese is leaving Georgia

Georgia defensive back Otis Reese (6) during the Bulldogs' session on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Georgia sophomore safety Otis Reese has entered his name in the transfer portal and has no intention of remaining with the Bulldogs.

“I really don’t have any other information other than he did tell me he was entering the transfer portal,” said Dean Fabrizio, Reese's coach at Lee County High School. “All I asked him was, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ So I can confirm that he’s definitely entered (the portal), and I can also confirm that he doesn’t know where he’s going to go.”

Just because an individual enters their name in the transfer portal does not mean they are definitely going to leave. However, it would appear Reese’s case is a done deal. He did not enroll for spring semester at UGA, which started Tuesday, Fabrizio said.

Reese is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound former 4-star prospect from Leesburg. He played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs this season but finished with only three tackles, which gave him 16 in his career.

Reese’s departure is a bit of surprise because he appeared set for a substantial increase in playing time next season. Reese was behind senior J.R. Reed and junior Richard LeCounte on the depth chart his first two seasons. However, Reed graduated and LeCounte is expected to see more action at the “field-side” safety position where Reed played.

Freshman Lewis Cine appeared to have edged ahead of Reese this season. Cine ended up starting at safety in the Sugar Bowl after Reed opted to sit out ahead of the NFL Draft. He finished with seven tackles, which gave him 21 for the season. Most of Reese’s work came on special teams.

Fabrizio was sure Reese would’ve played more at Georgia by now.

“Otis is a great player, but it’s not for me to say, I guess,” Fabrizio said. “Georgia’s got a lot of talent. They’ve had some really good teams. I mean, everybody they sign are great players. There’s certainly no ill will on our part toward Georgia or anything like that. I really don’t know what the situation is as far as why he’s decided to leave, I just know he has and that he’s not sure where he’s going yet.”

As for where Reese might end up, Fabrizio didn’t know. He did say his phone was “blowing up with plenty of suitors.”

Alabama, Auburn and Michigan were among Reese’s finalists coming out of high school.

Reese joins linebacker Robert Beal in the transfer portal. Beal, a 6-4, 244-pound sophomore, entered his name last fall but accompanied the Bulldogs to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl and said afterward he wasn’t sure what he was going to do.

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