One day after news surfaced about BYU’s Caleb Lohner and teammate Gideon George entering the NCAA transfer portal, both players turned to social media to share their thoughts on the decision.
The pair of forwards have been with Mark Pope’s Cougars program the past two seasons — Lohner joined BYU as a prospect out of high school, while George was a junior college transfer.
Though entering the transfer portal doesn’t preclude a player from returning to their previous school, both indicated their time at BYU is over.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I believe it is the right one for me at this time,” Lohner said in a message shared on both Twitter and Instagram. “I have loved BYU, will always be a Cougar, and will remember my time here fondly.
“I am also extraordinarily grateful to Cougar Nation, to all of my coaches, teammates, to the athletic department, and to the university for two terrific years that have not only been filled with awesome experiences but have also made me a better person.”
The 6-foot-8 Lohner joined the BYU program ahead of the 2020-21 season after initially signing a letter of intent with the University of Utah.
In two seasons at BYU, Lohner has averaged 7.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.5 steals per game, with 44 career starts.
A native of Dallas, Lohner finished his high school career at Wasatch Academy and was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.
George, who came to BYU after two seasons at New Mexico Junior College, also recently declared for the NBA draft, while maintaining the ability to return to college.
Due to the NCAA awarding Division I student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has one more collegiate season to play if he returns.
“While my current focus is on receiving feedback from the NBA, my plan is to return to college,” George wrote in a message shared on both Twitter and Instagram. “After a lot of thought, and prayer, I have decided that my time at BYU has come to an end. It has been an incredible experience and my time at BYU has changed my life, but God has other plans for me now.
“I am forever grateful to Coach Pope, Chris Burgess, Nick Robinson, Cody Fueger, Bobby Horodyski and the rest of the incredible BYU staff. You and the rest of Cougar Nation treated me like family and I will never be able to repay you for what you have done for me.”
The 6-foot-6 George, a native of Nigeria, saw his role increase in his second season as a Cougar.
He started 18 games for BYU this past season and averaged 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22.2 minutes per game.
“Two years ago I came to BYU not knowing what I would find or how things would turn out,” George said. “What I found was a coaching staff that loved me, and a fan base that supported me in ways that I never could have imagined.”
In addition to Lohner and George, guards Hunter Erickson and Nate Hansen, as well as walk-on Jeremy DowDell, have also entered the transfer portal this offseason for BYU.
This comes after the Cougars advanced to the third round of the NIT this past season, one year after making the NCAA Tournament.
“While I don’t know exactly what the future will hold, I am excited and optimistic and look forward to figuring out what is next. In line with my life view, I intend to find joy in the process,” Lohner said.