One of the biggest challenges the Tennessee Vols will face in 2021 is the program’s lack of depth.

The Vols have some talented players on both sides of the ball, but the depth isn’t where it needs to be — especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Tennessee is especially thin at linebacker and along the defensive line.

Vols head coach Josh Heupel specifically addressed the program’s lack of defensive line depth after the Orange and White game this past weekend.

“Need some depth on the defensive line — we’re thin at that position,” said Heupel. “We’ve got to continue to develop the guys that we’ve got and potentially add some guys there.”

Fortunately for Tennessee, a defensive lineman with Power-5 experience hit the transfer portal recently.

And he has some connections to the Vols.

USC redshirt senior Caleb Tremblay, a former four-star recruit who was rated as the No. 12 JuCo player in the 2018 recruiting class, entered the transfer portal late last week.

Tremblay played in 18 games for USC (including three starts). He compiled 21 tackles and two sacks during his time with the Trojans.

The California native has a couple of connections to Tennessee that could potentially make the Vols a factor for the experienced defensive lineman.

Trey Johnson was hired by Josh Heupel earlier this year to serve as a defensive scouting coordinator for UT. Johnson spent the last two seasons at USC as the Trojans’ director of scouting and recruiting strategy.

Tremblay was also teammates at USC with current Vols wide receiver Velus Jones Jr.

Jones transferred to Tennessee ahead of the 2020 season.

I’m not sure how much those connections will factor into Tremblay’s eventual transfer decision, but it’s a connection nonetheless.

Tennessee Vols

As for the impact Tremblay could make at UT?

He’s likely not a player that’s going to make waves if he lands at Tennessee. But he would absolutely add much-needed depth. This is the type of pickup that wouldn’t necessarily garner a lot of attention, but it would improve the Vols’ defense in ways that a lot of folks probably wouldn’t notice on a week-to-week basis.

Right now, the Vols need as much depth and experience as they can get. That’s why they should do what they can to lure Tremblay to Rocky Top.

Featured image via Tennessee Athletic Communications/USA Today Sports


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