Exodus of Tennessee gamers begins

A couple of days after Tennessee fired head coach Jeremy Pruitt for cause, a number of of its prime gamers entered their names into the NCAA switch portal.

Linebackers Henry To’o To’o and Quavaris Crouch, working again Eric Grey and offensive lineman Jahmir Johnson entered the portal on Wednesday. All 4 gamers have been starters for the Vols in 2020.

To’o To’o is essentially the most important loss. To’o To’o instantly grew to become a starter upon his arrival on campus in 2019. Over his two seasons in Knoxville, To’o To’o accrued 148 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. He led UT in tackles in 2020 and was second on the staff in 2019 when he earned SEC All-Freshman honors.

Crouch was a fellow member of UT’s 2019 recruiting class. He tallied 28 tackles as a reserve as a freshman earlier than changing into the staff’s beginning center linebacker in 2020. He was third on the staff with 57 tackles.

Grey was additionally a sophomore for the Vols in 2020. He rushed for 539 yards and 4 touchdowns as a freshman. In 2020, Grey was the staff’s main rusher. He completed the season with 772 yards and 4 scores whereas including 30 receptions for 254 yards and two extra TDs.

Johnson began 17 video games over the span of three seasons at Tennessee, making appearances at each left guard and left sort out. He was a fifth-year senior in 2020. By transferring, he’ll benefit from the NCAA’s determination to provide gamers an extra 12 months of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Star linebacker Henry To’o To’o is one 4 Tennessee gamers to enter the switch portal on Wednesday. (Photograph by Andrew Ferguson/Collegiate Photos/Getty Photos)

Whereas these defections got here simply after the varsity fired Pruitt under the cloud of multiple investigations, a number of different outstanding gamers departed this system beforehand. That features offensive sort out Wanya Morris, working again Ty Chandler and linebacker Deandre Johnson. All three have already dedicated to Energy 5 applications: Morris to Oklahoma, Chandler to North Carolina and Johnson to Miami.

With Pruitt out of the image, Tennessee introduced in former Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to function this system’s performing head coach whereas it begins its teaching search. Earlier than a coach might be employed, the varsity plans to rent a brand new athletic director to interchange Phillip Fulmer.

Fulmer, who employed Pruitt after the tried rent of Greg Schiano by former AD John Currie went up in flames, mentioned he intends to retire. Fulmer was the top coach at UT from 1992 to 2008.

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