Arizona linebacker Jerry Roberts is entering the transfer portal.

A little more than a month after announcing he would return to Tucson for the 2023 season, Roberts came back with an announcement that “it would be in my best interest to enter the transfer portal to achieve my ultimate goal of getting to the NFL.” Roberts was the Wildcats’ second-leading tackler in 2022.

Roberts started all 12 games at inside linebacker this past season for the Wildcats. But with the UA hoping to revamp its defense for the new year, Roberts figured to be challenged for playing time in the offseason.

Freshman linebacker Jacob Manu really emerged down the closing stretch of the year, and then Arizona went out and plucked former 5-star Oregon linebacker Justin Flowe from the transfer portal.

The 6-foot-2 Roberts began his career at Bowling Green, where he spent four seasons. He transferred to Arizona ahead of the 2021 season and departs after making 18 starts in 21 appearances while totaling 112 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble.

Look for UMass to be a player in Roberts’ re-recruitment. The Minutemen’s head coach, Don Brown, brought Roberts to Tucson back in 2021 and recruited his brother, Jyree, in the 2023 class. UMass also has former Arizona linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski coordinating its defense and has added four other Wildcat players from the portal already this offseason — defensive linemen JB Brown and Jermaine Wiggins Jr., linebacker Tyler Martin, and wideout Anthony Simpson.