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Linebacker Tre Watson transferring from Illinois

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The junior will pursue his fifth year elsewhere.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois linebacker Tre Watson is transferring from the program.

The junior announced his decision to leave the University on Monday afternoon via Twitter. He penned a farewell message to fans.

Watson has seen plenty of playing time since his redshirt freshman season in 2015 when he played in all 12 games and won Illinois Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention, while also appearing in all 12 games with eight starts in the 2016 season. He was second on the team in tackles with 102.

During the past season, Watson fought for playing time. He played in nine games with seven starts and racked up 65 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Watson, a vet on a very young team this season, will now have the opportunity to showcase his skills for scouts at a different program.