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Nebraska running back, former USC transfer Markese Stepp enters transfer portal

Matt Zenitz07/12/22
Article written by:On3 imageMatt Zenitz

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(Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nebraska running back Markese Stepp has entered the NCAA transfer portal, On3 has learned.

Stepp, a Class of 2018 four-star recruit who began his college career at USC, rushed for 177 yards for the Cornhuskers last season.

Stepp, an Indiana native and one-time Notre Dame commit, ran for 505 yards in three seasons at USC prior to transferring to Nebraska.

Transfer portal background information

The NCAA transfer portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be  contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That came after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.