Nebraska's Chief Borders situation latest example of brave new world

Nebraska football's minimal transfer portal exits took a twist with linebacker Chief Borders' departure, revealing early agent involvement
Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Now that the transfer portal is officially closed, it appears we can say it. The Nebraska football program got off pretty light in that regard. In total, three Huskers entered the portal in linebacker Chief Borders, walk on quarterback Jack Woche and linebacker Korver Demma.  Of the trio, Borders' story stands out.

The obvious reason why Borders' story stands out is that he was the only one of the three who really stood a chance of starting this season (it's still not entirely clear why Woche came to Lincoln in the first place). But there's another reason why the transfer's exit is noteworthy.

On Wednesday's episode of LockedOnNebraska, Mitch Sherman shared some insight into what went down before Borders announced he was leaving the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The story ended up being quite the insight into this brave new world college athletics.

Nebraska football's transfer portal surprise: The case of Chief Borders

"I wasn't shocked. I feel like I can say this," Sherman started. "They're allowed to have agents, and agents work on behalf of players. And as fate would have it, I heard from Chief Borders' agent last week because Chief's agent wanted to get a story out in the public about how well Chief was doing in Nebraska's spring football practice."

Sherman added that was not "generally the way that my line of work goes."

The Athletic writer went on to explain that dealing with agents of college athletes isn't that uncommon, once they're getting ready to go pro. But the fact that Borders' agent was contacting him before he'd even announced he was transferring raised his antenna.

He closed the segment by saying "This is just college football now. I mean, it's a different world than it was 12 months ago or 24 months ago."

Of course, Chief Borders entering the transfer portal was always a bit of a shock to those on the outside looking in, since he had indeed drawn praise from Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule. 

This story is likely going to get more prevalent the longer the transfer portal and NIL exist in their current form, but it was a change for how Nebraska usually does business, for sure.