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Louisville WR Jordan Watkins is entering the transfer portal

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One of the brightest young stars on the Cardinal football team is taking his skills elsewhere.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Wide receiver Jordan Watkins, one of the brightest young stars on the Louisville football roster, is entering the transfer portal.

According to Dave Lackford of Rivals.com (subscription), Watkins’ top two preferred transfer options are Kentucky and Purdue. KSR’s Nick Roush says Watkins is likely headed to UK.

So that’s ... not great.

After playing a limited role for the team in 2020, Watkins was one of the most featured specialty players on the Cardinal offense in 2021. The Butler High School product ranked second on the team in receptions (35), receiving yards (529), and touchdown catches (4). He also returned eight punts for 85 yards and one kick for 28 yards.

As if that weren’t enough, Watkins seemed to be being groomed to be the face of the U of L program moving forward. He was featured prominently in the official preseason hype video, and utilized frequently in marketing campaigns throughout the season.

This is a bad, bad look for a Louisville program that was already limping into this week after Saturday’s 31-point beatdown at the hands of Kentucky. If Watkins, who was put on a pedestal by U of L and was featured in the Cardinal offense as heavily as any wide receiver, couldn’t find happiness here, then ... well I don’t really want to think about how that sentence ends.

This could be an awfully interesting buildup to Louisville’s bowl game.