At the current rate of departures, Utah State might struggle to field a defensive line next season.

Since the conclusion of 2022 college football season, seven Aggies defensive lineman have entered the transfer portal, the latest becoming official Wednesday afternoon.

One-time Michigan Wolverine Phillip Paea announced on social media that he has entered the transfer portal, following in the footsteps of Tavian Coleman, Daniel Grzesiak (Cincinnati), Patrick Joyner Jr. (Kansas), Aurion Peoples, Addison Trupp and Byron Vaughns.

Paea was a starter at defensive tackle for Utah State to begin last season, though his year was cut short after he tore his ACL in the Aggies’ loss to Weber State in early September.

In two games played (with a smattering of time against the Wildcats too), Paea recorded two tackles and an interception.

As a junior in 2021, the 6-foot-4, 305 pound Paea played in all 14 games for the Mountain West Conference champion Aggies, and finished with 14 tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Prior to arriving at Utah State, Paea spent four years at Michigan, where he appeared in three total games, while playing on both the offensive and defensive lines.

A three-star offensive line prospect coming out of Berrien Springs High School (Michigan) in 2016, per 247Sports Composite rating, Paea has two years of eligibility remaining.

The Aggies now have just Hale Motu’apuaka, Poukesi Vakauta, Bo Maile, Seni Tuiaki, John Ward and Enoka Migao on the roster along the defensive line, with some reinforcements coming from signee Zion Andreasen, Justice Ena, Clifton Mosley Jr., Cian Slone and Maka Tu’akoi.

The Aggies’ defensive front was one of the best in all of college football in 2022, tying for 11th in the nation in tackles for loss, with 94 total over 13 games, an average of 7.2 per contest.