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Ken Handy-Holly, a defensive back who played in eight games for the Gophers as a true freshman in 2017, has been given his release from the Minnesota program, a school spokesman confirmed.

Handy-Holly, a Jackson, Ala., native, intends to transfer closer to home, Gopher Illustrated reported.

Handy-Holly had 12 tackles (nine solo, three assisted), one pass breakup, one pass defended, a forced fumble and fumble recovery last season. He had his best game in the 54-21 victory over Nebraska, in which he had six tackles, including four solo.

With the Gophers' safety depth tested by injury last season, Handy-Holly made his debut in the Big Ten opener against Maryland. He played in every game the rest of the season except for the Michigan game, which he missed because of injury.

Handy-Holly was a three-star recruit by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports and a four-star recruit by Scout as a senior at Jackson High School. He received offers from Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, North Carolina State and Wake Forest, among others.