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Kentucky natives Stephen Herron and Tanner Bowles enter the transfer portal

Two former Kentucky high school stars are looking for a new home next season.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Stanford D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats will be looking to bolster a few positions this offseason via the transfer portal, and two players with strong ties to the Commonwealth have decided to play for a different program next season.

Those players are Stephen Herron (Stanford Cardinal) and Tanner Bowles (Alabama Crimson Tide), who both played their high school football in Kentucky and declared their intentions to enter the portal on Wednesday.

Let’s start with Herron.

A former top-200 player in the class of 2019, Herron played his high school ball off Shelbyville Rd. in Louisville for Trinity High school. After originally committing to the Michigan Wolverines, the star edge rusher opted to head out west and play for David Shaw and the Cardinal.

During his time at Stanford, his playing time increased each season before ultimately having his break-out campaign this season in which he totaled 37 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

With JJ Weaver potentially leaving for the NFL Draft, and Jordan Wright now out of eligibility, Mark Stoops and Brad White will certainly by looking to land an experienced edge rusher to pair with a trio of young talent. Herron could very likely be that player.

Now for Bowles, a former top-300 recruit in 2019.

Originally from Glasgow, Bowles has spent the last several seasons in Tuscaloosa playing primarily the inside positions across the offensive line. During his time at Alabama, he appeared in 18 games with snaps in both a reserve offensive lineman role and special teams.

It’s obvious that the Cats need help across the offensive line after a rough season for the Big Blue Wall. Although it seems the staff will be looking to add tackles to the mix, adding a player with the talent and experience of Bowles seems like a pretty solid option.

Both Bowles and Herron will be redshirt seniors in 2023 with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

With several days still until the portal officially opens, the Cats at least have two options that they have very strong connections too. Should be a couple of recruitments to watch closely over the next few weeks.