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Washington State linebacker Dominick Silvels announces decision to enter transfer portal

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 10, 2019

Washington State linebacker Dominick Silvels (20) smiles on the sidelines during the Cougars’ Crimson and Grey Game on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State linebacker Dominick Silvels (20) smiles on the sidelines during the Cougars’ Crimson and Grey Game on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Dominick Silvels, a Washington State linebacker who led the Cougars in sacks last year but missed the entirety of the 2019 season with undisclosed personal issues, has entered the transfer portal and won’t return to Pullman next season.

Silvels was one of the most productive players on WSU’s defense in 2018, playing in all 13 games and leading the Cougars with 4 1/2 sacks, while finishing with 7 1/2 tackles for loss and 25 total tackles.

The San Diego native and Patrick Henry High product was projected to play an important role for WSU’s defense in 2019 after switching from “Rush” linebacker to the middle linebacker position he played as a freshman in Pullman.

On Twitter, Silvels wrote, “I appreciate all the coaches at WSU along with the players that I have built bonds with these past few years. This place will always hold a special place in my heart. So with that being said, I will be putting my name in the portal and transferring. Once a Coug always a Coug!”

After WSU’s Week 2 game against Northern Colorado, Leach told The Spokesman-Review that Silvels was working through “personal issues” but indicated the linebacker would rejoin the team at some point.

On Oct. 16, when asked about Silvels, Leach said, “I’m kind of curious why I don’t have an update. That’s befuddling to me.” Approximately three weeks later, Leach said, “You always remind me and I need to follow up on (Silvels).”

Despite losing Silvels, the Cougars bring back a handful of rotation linebackers, including All-Pac-12 honorable mention choice Jahad Woods, who finished second in the league with 121 tackles this season. WSU also returns starting linebacker Justus Rogers and promising freshman Travion Brown, who earned All-Pac-12 second team Tuesday as a special teams/all-purpose player.

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