Nihym Anderson, a freshman linebacker for the Maryland football team, was given his release from the program and will be able to transfer, a university spokesperson said.
Anderson, a three-star recruit in the class of 2018, is the first player to leave the team since ESPN reported on a “toxic” culture surrounding the program and its potential link to football player Jordan McNair’s death.
Inside Maryland Sports was the first to report Anderson’s move. Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Anderson was one of a slew of linebackers to sign in Maryland’s 2018 class, which 247Sports has ranked No. 28 nationally. That linebacker group, likely the Terps’ thinnest positional unit, also picked up Tre Watson via graduate transfer.
Several players told ESPN that Maryland coaches pushed them past their physical limits and were abusive toward them. Since those reports, class of 2019 offensive lineman Parker Moorer decommitted from Maryland. Junior linebacker Brett Shepherd left the program prior to ESPN’s allegations.
Many current players have spoken out in support of embattled coach DJ Durkin, who remains on administrative leave as two external investigations are underway.
Anderson was unlikely to play a significant role for the Terps this season. Junior Antoine Brooks seems to be the keystone of the linebacker unit after Jermaine Carter was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Watson and junior Isaiah Davis are also likely to play key roles. Freshman Jordan Mosley could feature, too, while edge rusher Jesse Aniebonam recovers from an ankle injury suffered early last season.
Last week, the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents announced it would assume control of both external investigations. Walters Inc., the consulting firm investigating McNair’s death, is expected to publish its findings Sept. 15, while university President Wallace Loh formed a four-person task force to investigate the culture of the football team.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.