Alex Locklear

File photo/The Herald-Dispatch

Marshall Thundering Herd offensive lineman Alex Locklear (77) and teammates celebrate with fans following the game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Houchens-Smith Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Bowling Green, Ky. Marshall won 20-17.

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University senior offensive lineman Alex Locklear has entered into the NCAA transfer portal, sources confirmed Thursday.

Locklear, a former Spring Valley High School football standout, is on pace to graduate this spring and will have one year of eligibility left. It is likely Locklear will use that year to transfer to the University of Tennessee. Sources also confirmed that he has a scholarship offer from Tennessee’s coaching staff.

The loss of Locklear carries some weight with the Thundering Herd offensive line as it loses a player who has 35 games of experience in a multitude of roles.

Even though many pieces remain from the 2018 offensive line, Locklear was expected to be firmly in the mix for a starting position this spring as the team looked to solidify its offensive line after the loss of offensive guard Jordan Dowrey to graduation.

One of Locklear’s better performances in his career came in the 2018 season-ending 38-20 win over South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in December. Marshall’s offense rolled up 503 total yards in the contest, including 282 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Last season, Locklear appeared in all 13 games and made one start. During his 35 games with the Herd, Locklear’s versatility helped with depth as he had experience at the tackle and interior positions. Both of his starts were against Western Kentucky -- one in 2018 and one to end the 2016 season.

If the 6-foot-5, 340-pound senior joins Tennessee’s program, he will be reunited with his brother, Riley, who is a junior for the Volunteers.

Riley Locklear was the 2016 Stydahar Award winner as West Virginia’s top offensive lineman. As a freshman, Riley Locklear played in four games with two starts and last season he played in six contests while fighting injuries that kept him out of the lineup consistently.

All indications are that Alex Locklear will finish up his undergraduate course-load in May and head to Tennessee soon after to begin graduate work.

If they reunite, it will be the first time since the 2014 season that they’ve been on the field together.

Pending graduation, the addition of the older Locklear continues Tennessee’s strong presence of Mountain State offensive lineman.

The Locklear brothers would not be the only West Virginians in the fold along the offensive front for head coach Jeremy Pruitt and offensive line coach Brian Niedermeyer. In February, Tennessee signed Huntington High’s Darnell Wright, who was largely considered the top offensive tackle prospect in the Class of 2019.

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