Former Maryland defensive lineman Justin Anderson, who left the program following spring football for undisclosed personal reasons, has latched on with the University of Massachusetts and will be eligible immediately.

Coach Charley Molnar, who guided the Minutemen to a 1-11 record in their first season transitioning from FCS to FBS, announced the addition on Friday afternoon. 

“Justin brings BCS size and strength to our defensive line and will be an impact player,” Molnar said in the release. “He is a multi-positional player who can play on the interior of the line or outside at defensive end. He was a starter in the ACC as a sophomore and I see him fighting for one of the starting positions here as well.”

Anderson was listed as a co-starter along the defensive line this spring, but his abrupt departure allowed sophomore Quinton Jefferson to assume sole possession of the first-string spot. At the time, Anderson was expected to finish his academic requirements in College Park and then move on with his football career.

Turns out, moving on means moving to western Massachusetts, where he will enroll at UMass as a graduate student, pursuing his master’s degree in education. Minutemen assistant head coach and defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo was at Maryland for Anderson’s freshman and sophomore years, and likely made UMass an attractive destination for the 6-feet-5, 280-pound lineman.

Anderson entered 2012 listed as a tri-starter on the preseason depth chart alongside Keith Bowers and Andre Monroe, but wound up playing sparingly in six games behind Joe Vellano. Anderson finished with just six tackles, one for a loss. He burned a redshirt year following a preseason injury in 2011, but started all 13 games as a sophomore.

Anderson joins a UMass program that has brought in several BCS-conference transfers, including two from Michigan and two from Notre Dame. He received some goodbye-and-good luck messages from former teammates on Twitter.