The Kansas football team’s starting center most of the year, Api Mane has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal as a graduate transfer, according to reports Friday from recruiting sites Rivals and 247 Sports.
A 6-foot-3, 334-pound senior, Mane already had opted out of the rest of the season, ahead of the Jayhawks’ home loss to TCU this past weekend, KU confirmed.
Mane posted a note about his decision recently on his private Instagram account.
“Learned so much from the three years I’ve been here and I’ll carry those lessons with me forever, along with those who’ve helped me get this far,” Mane wrote. “Looking to start another chapter in my life and only God knows.”
With Mane out of the mix, KU (0-8 overall, 0-7 Big 12) started true freshman Garrett Jones at center versus TCU. Jones is the projected starter for the final two games of the year.
A junior college recruit in former KU head coach David Beaty’s 2018 class, Mane joined the program as a transfer from College of San Mateo, where he was a teammate of KU quarterback Miles Kendrick.
Mane redshirted in 2018, then started two games in 2019, while playing as a backup with some regularity.
Earlier this year, Mane served as one of the team captains in KU’s opener against Coastal Carolina. Though he played center as a reserve in his 2020 debut, Mane started at the position five of the next six games before opting out.
With the NCAA’s blanket waiver for an extra year of eligibility this season due to the pandemic, Mane could theoretically have played at KU again next year. Instead, he will look to transfer elsewhere and finish his career with another program, much like punter Kyle Thompson, who also entered the portal this week.
Mane became the fifth starter for KU to opt out during the season, joining running back Pooka Williams, linebacker Dru Prox, safety Davon Ferguson and left guard Jacobi Lott.
Chandler also in the portal
Per the 247 Sports portal tracker, Julian Chandler, a backup senior defensive back who opted out of the season in September, also has entered the portal.
Chandler didn’t play in any games this year, and only appeared in one game during the 2019 season after redshirting in 2018. He was a member of KU’s 2016 recruiting class and graded by Rivals as a two-star prospect.