Sophomore wide receiver Malachi Wideman is no longer part of the Tennessee Vols football program, according to a report from 247Sports.

Wideman, a former four-star recruit who signed with Tennessee during the 2020 recruiting cycle, is not listed in the transfer portal. That likely means the junior college route is a strong possibility for Wideman.

While it’s never ideal to lose depth, this isn’t necessarily a major loss for the Volunteers.

Sure, Wideman, who is also a skilled basketball player, is a talented player with potential. But he was injured for most of spring practice and wasn’t very high on Tennessee’s depth chart.

When you combine the injury issues with his limited production in 2020 (one reception for 24 yards in six games), it’s easy to see that Wideman probably wasn’t going to be a major factor for the Vols in 2021.

Tennessee’s top three wide receivers in 2021 will undoubtedly be Velus Jones, Jalin Hyatt, and Ramel Keyton. The Vols also have returning sophomores Jimmy Calloway and Jimmy Holiday, plus transfer additions JaVonta Payton (former Mississippi State wide receiver) and Andison Coby (a JuCo addition). And let’s not forget about true freshman Walker Merrill, either.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Wideman was going to see significant playing time in 2021. In fact, there likely won’t be enough playing time for all the wide receivers mentioned above.

The Vols have plenty of areas where they can’t afford to lose depth (linebacker for instance), but the wide receiver position isn’t one of those areas.

It’s unfortunate to see that Wideman is no longer part of Tennessee’s program, but this move shouldn’t have any impact on the Vols in 2021.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports/Caitlyn Jordan/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC


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