After entering last season with only six scholarship offensive linemen, the hope for Mike MacIntyre entering spring camp was that the offensive line room would be stabilized after adding several players in the offseason. While it remains to be seen how the group will round into form, FIU lost a pair of veteran tackles late Friday morning.
Redshirt senior Lyndell Hudson Jr. and redshirt junior Shamar Hobdy-Lee announced their intent to enter the NCAA’s transfer portal on Twitter.
Hudson Jr. was a three-year starter at right tackle, while Hobdy-Lee was last year’s primary starter at left tackle, earning 12 starts and playing in the most snaps of any Panther offensive linemen (804) in 2023.
Hobdy-Lee made his intention to enter the portal known, telling the staff following Thursday’s practice that he would be departing the team. The Tampa native was a three-star recruit out of Jefferson High School and signed with FIU as part of the 2019 recruiting class. Hobdy-Lee was named to College Football Network’s Conference USA All-Conference Second Team last season.
Six Panthers earn postseason honors by College Football Network.— Eric Henry (@EricCHenry_) December 7, 2022
First-Team all-C-USA: Donovan Manuel
Honorable mention: Shaun Peterson, Gaethan Bernadel
Off Rookie of the year: John Bock
Def ROTY: Hezekiah Masses #PawsUp https://t.co/f9bkRdPiYb
Hudson Jr. was named to several preseason Conference USA watchlists entering last season, being projected to be one of the top offensive tackles in the league. The Brooksville native battled a back injury throughout camp and earned and a recognition from Pro Football Focus as the top right tackle for week five.
Week 5 Team of the Week: Offense⭐️ pic.twitter.com/Yj3Cvks9dV— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 3, 2022
Hobdy Lee’s entry was somewhat expected after the first two days of camp, but Hudson Jr.’s comes as a surprise.
Position coach Joshua Eargle spoke about the development of the offensive line room following yesterday’s practice.
“Coach Greg Austin did a phenomenal job laying the foundation with these guys and this group is a joy to coach,” said Eargle. “Coach Mac (MacIntyre) has made it clear that every job is wide open and we have a group that are fighting to be on the field, we have some good competition battles. tackle groups who can play both sides, we have young guys who will move in after redshirting last year on the inside.”
Eargle took over for Greg Austin, who departed for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in February and would have been fourth position coach for both Hobdy-Lee and Hudson Jr. (Allen Mogridge, Joel Rodriguez, Austin).
With Hobdy Lee and Hudson Jr.’s departures, FIU will have to replace three of last year’s primary starters, including center Julius Pierce, who transferred to C-USA foe Middle Tennessee State earlier in the offseason.