Whoever takes over as the next Tennessee Vols head coach will be without several key players from the 2020 team.
Earlier this week, offensive lineman Wanya Morris, a former five-star recruit, announced that he’s transferring to Oklahoma.
On Wednesday afternoon, the news got worse for Tennessee.
In less than an hour, four key Vols reportedly hit the portal.
Running back Eric Gray, linebacker Quavaris Crouch, offensive lineman Jahmir Johnson, and linebacker Henry To’o To’o are all officially in the portal according to multiple reports.
Additionally, four-star linebacker/defensive end Dylan Brooks, who signed with UT in December, asked for a release from his national letter of intent this week.
Gray and To’o To’o are obviously the biggest losses here (if they do indeed transfer). Gray is Tennessee’s best offensive player and To’o To’o is the Vols’ best defensive player.
Losing Crouch, who started all 10 games for Tennessee in 2020, is a difficult loss as well.
Johnson, a former three-star recruit, is a major blow because it severely hurts UT’s offensive line depth.
Ultimately, these moves aren’t surprising at all. Jeremy Pruitt was popular with players. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more players hit the portal in the coming days/weeks.
This is definitely going to make the Tennessee job less attractive to potential head coaches, which is why I’m fairly confident that one of these three scenarios is how the Vols’ latest coaching search will play out.
Note: Tight end Austin Pope removed his name from the transfer portal just before Pruitt was fired. Defensive back Shawn Shamburger also recently removed his name from the portal, though it’s unclear if he will return to Tennessee. Before Pruitt was fired, quarterback JT Shrout transferred to Colorado and Jarrett Guarantano transferred to Washington State.
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