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Tennessee defensive back Rashaan Gaulden declares for the 2018 NFL Draft

A big loss.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers will have yet another void to fill in the secondary in 2018. Rashaan Gaulden has declared for the NFL Draft. He announced his decision on Twitter this afternoon.

Gaulden played the nickel spot for the Volunteers in 2016 and 2017. He was pretty easily Tennessee’s most consistent performer, seemingly always around the ball making a play.

The 6-1, 193 pound defensive back out of Spring Hill, Tennessee leaves with 140 tackles, 10 passes defensed and one interception in two years of starting for the Vols. He forced four fumbles and tallied 29 tackles for loss during his career.

Gaulden’s departure creates a big hole in the Tennessee secondary that has already lost Justin Martin, Emmanuel Moseley and Shaq Wiggins. This just turns up the dial even more on Jeremy Pruitt’s need for cornerbacks on the trail. He’s going to be relying upon a bunch of youth in the secondary in year one.

Gaulden was as redshirt junior with one season of eligibility remaining. He joins running back John Kelly as the second Tennessee junior to declare for the draft.