Gophers linebacker De’Niro Laster has left the university with plans to transfer to closer to his Ohio home, he said Thursday.

Laster was a consensus three-star recruit coming out of Cleveland Heights High School in 2013. He redshirted that fall and played in nine games for the Gophers last year as a second-string outside linebacker, making seven tackles. He was an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Laster did not appear headed for a starting role this fall, with De’Vondre Campbell and Jack Lynn both entrenched at outside linebacker. But he indicated the decision wasn't about playing time.

"I'm transferring home to be closer to my family, as we are going through a difficult family situation right now," Laster said in a text message. "I will miss all of my teammates and the fans dearly! I don't have a school picked right now, but I will have one in the upcoming week.

"I love Coach Kill, and I am thankful and honored for what we did there as a program. I wish the best to all my teammates and coaches!"