Vols Football: Who is Tennessee’s most impactful transfer addition?

Vols Football: Who is Tennessee’s most impactful transfer addition?

The transfer portal has become nearly as important as traditional recruiting — you know this by now. Every year, hundreds of players enter the portal in hopes of finding more playing time. What seemed like a four-year destination quickly became a struggle on the depth chart, or maybe a player just didn’t take to a coaching staff. Whatever the reason is, the NCAA has empowered athletes with a one-time transfer, with no restrictions on eligibility.

In today’s college football world, if you’re not working the portal, you’re not going to win. We know about recruiting rankings, and now you actually have transfer portal rankings.

On that note, 247Sports has named each team’s most impactful transfer this year, and former Ohio State defensive back Andre Turrentine got the nod for Tennessee.

Read the analysis below.

Tennessee is looking to take a big leap entering its second season under Josh Heupel. To do so, it desperately needs to shore up the defense. Adding former Ohio State safety Turrentine accomplishes a few tasks. First, Turrentine, who will likely play nickel for the Vols, replaces one of their biggest defensive losses in Theo Jackson. Second, he frees up other players in the secondary, like safety Trevon Flowers and outside corner Brandon Turnage, to move back to their natural positions after working at nickel to try and replace Jackson.

Tennessee entered the offseason with a pretty large need in the secondary, losing both Theo Jackson and Alontae Taylor to the NFL. The Music City Bowl was a rough look ahead, as Purdue lit up the Volunteers repeatedly down the field.

Turrentine, a member of the class of 2021, is a former four-star prospect out of the mid-state area. He was the 169th ranked player in the cycle, according to 247Sports. As a prospect, analysts were split on whether he would end up at cornerback or safety. That’s now up to the Tennessee staff to figure out—they could use help in both places.

As a true freshman, Turrentine saw action in just three games for the Buckeyes. He earned praise during the Ohio State spring game, registering nine tackles and a pass breakup. Shortly after that, Turrentine hit the portal. He has up to four years of eligibility remaining.

Is he the most impactful transfer Tennessee pulled in this offseason? It’s absolutely possible. His biggest competition may come from Georgia Tech transfer Wesley Walker, who joins Tennessee after starting for two seasons in Atlanta. Both are logical choices to man the nickel spot that Theo Jackson vacated. Walker comes with more experience, perhaps giving him the immediate leg up. It’s also still unclear where Turrentine ends up playing.

The secondary picture is still very blurry at this point, outside of returning safeties Jaylen McCollough and Trevon Flowers. The cornerback spots and nickel position seem pretty open, and that will be one of the top stories we’ll be following during fall camp.

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