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Golden, other UH starters enter transfer portal

Matthew Golden is the eighth Houston player to have entered the transfer portal. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Sophomore wideout Matthew Golden is entering the transfer portal, On3Sports reported Thursday evening. Golden is the eighth UH football player to have entered the portal since its opening on Dec. 4.

Following the announced departure of defensive line coach Brian Early, three UH d-linemen entered the portal. All-Big 12 Second-team selection Jamaree Caldwell, junior starting nose tackle Chidozie Nwankwo and freshman Justin Benton all entered the portal. However, when Early was retained as the position coach, Benton decided to withdraw his name from the portal.

Starting offensive linemen Reuben Unije and Tyler Johnson also entered the portal. With senior tackle Patrick Paul entering the NFL Draft and center Jack Freeman IV graduating, Houston will likely enter the spring without any of its five starting offensive linemen from 2023.

Redshirt freshman receiver Dalton Carnes entered the transfer portal after earning significant playing time this season as a walk-on, catching 20 passes for 263 yards.

Former head coach Dana Holgorsen said on his weekly radio show on Nov. 15 that Golden was being offered “six figures” in Name, Image and Likeness deals by SEC schools to transfer. Later that day, Golden, whose 2023 season was cut short after suffering a toe injury during UH’s win against Baylor on Nov. 4, took to Twitter/X to voice his commitment to staying at Houston amidst a 4-8 season.

“One-thousand percent committed to what we are building here at UH,” Golden said. “Tough times don’t mean you jump ship, especially for a few dollars.”

Golden caught 38 passes for 404 yards and six touchdowns in 2023 and ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns. As a true freshman in 2022, Golden logged 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games.

Cornerback Isaiah Hamilton will transfer as well. Hamilton, who played just one year at UH after transferring from Texas Southern, logged 50 tackles and four interceptions for UH in 2023.

Four other defensive players have entered the transfer portal so far: cornerback Moses Alexander, defensive lineman Amipeleasi Langi Jr. and linebackers Aaron Willis and Chris Pearson. Alexander and Langi both saw action in 2023.

Kicker Cooper Hamilton is also set to transfer.

This is an evolving story, be sure to check back for updates. 

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