UAB's secondary took a big hit on Monday with the news that starting safety Jaylen Key has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

The news was first reported by 247 Sports. Key, a Tallahassee, Florida native, enters the portal as a graduate student. The portal closes for undergraduate transfers on Saturday but remains open to graduate students.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Key is coming off his best season in college football. He played in all 13 games with eight starts and was third on the team with 60 tackles. He also added three interceptions, 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He was an All-Conference USA honorable mention selection. He saw action in 31 games the previous three seasons, but most of it was in a reserve role. He was credited with 18 tackles in those three seasons.

Key is the seventh UAB scholarship player to enter the transfer portal player but is the only projected starter among that group. The most experienced safeties for the Blazers are Keondre Swoopes and Damon and Damien Miller. Ike Rowell had a solid spring and redshirt freshmen Carl Fauntroy and AJ Brown show promise.    

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.