UCF football turns to transfer portal, adds UAB LB Kris Moll – Orlando Sentinel

UCF football turns to transfer portal, adds UAB LB Kris Moll – Orlando Sentinel

A day after a second UCF linebacker entered their name in the NCAA transfer portal, the Knights were able to add an experienced player to the position group.

UAB senior linebacker Kris Moll announced his intentions to transfer to UCF on social media Tuesday.

“I am beyond excited to announce my commitment to UCF,” Moll wrote on social media.

Moll earned first-team All-Conference USA honors in 2019 and ’20 before deciding to take advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted to athletes by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the preseason he appeared on the watchlists for the Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Award — both of which honor the top defensive player in college football.

Moll, however, suffered a hand injury after four games and sat out the rest of the season.

Prior to his injury, however, he was a key piece to UAB’s defense that helped win two Conference USA championships in 2018 and ’20.

Earning an All-America honorable mention from college football expert Phil Steele, Moll recorded a team-high 59 total tackles during the second title run, along with 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 6 six quarterback hurries.

He originally entered the transfer portal in December but was unable to land somewhere for the spring semester.

The addition of Moll is big for UCF’s defense. Senior Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste is the only returning linebacker with starting experience.

The only other linebacker on scholarship who has appeared in multiple games is junior Quade Mosier. He played in all 13 games last season and made five tackles.

Redshirt junior Derek Burns, who walked on in 2019, has played some linebacker but mostly special teams and recorded three tackles last season.

The Knights added Terrence Lewis, a Maryland transfer and five-star linebacker, from the portal in January but he was limited by injury this spring. The redshirt freshman continues to rehab from a knee injury incurred before coming to UCF.

The Knights also have a pair of incoming freshmen at linebacker in Sanford Seminole product Kam Moore and Berkeley Prep’s TJ Bullard. Moore is the young brother of former UCF defensive back Brandon Moore.

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Moll isn’t the only transfer linebacker joining the Knights this summer.

He follows Eastern Illinois transfer linebacker Jason Johnson, a two-time FCS All-American, who verbally committed to the Knights in March.

Still, the Knights needed more than just Johnson from the portal. Since the end of spring camp UCF redshirt freshmen linebackers Kadeem Leonard and Cole Joyce entered the transfer portal making room for new additions at the position.

Moll will provide plenty of experience to UCF’s linebacker room having played in 51 games over the course of 5 seasons.

The Miami native first earned first-team all-Conference USA honors in 2019 when he recorded 104 tackles with 16.0 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, four forced fumbles, six quarterback hurries, one interception, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery.

That season he was the only player in the conference to rank top 10 in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss.

Email Jason Beede at jbeede@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.

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