Former Tennessee offensive lineman Ryan Johnson quickly found a new home. The former starter announced that he would transfer with a season left to play, looking for a place where he could get more chances to play.
On Monday, he announced that he would be moving on to Georgia Tech.
Johnson started every game for Tennessee in 2018, but lost that starting gig once Trey Smith, Brandon Kennedy came back from injury and two five-star freshman tackles arrived. Johnson remained a part of the rotation up front, but the writing was on the wall for next season.
With a season of eligibility remaining, Johnson will head south to Georgia Tech, where Geoff Collins is flipping the Yellow Jackets from a triple option offense to a more traditional look. Veteran bodies like Johnson will be vital for Collins to do that successfully.
Tennessee has lost some veteran depth up front so far in Johnson and Marcus Tatum. While that hurts for depth concerns, the Vols still should bring back a minimum of four starters on the offensive line for next year, if we assume Trey Smith is going to test the pro waters. Senior center Brandon Kennedy will apply for a sixth season of eligibility, and has a pretty compelling case to present to the NCAA.
K’Rojhn Calbert, Wanya Morris, Darnell Wright make up the rest of the core, along with a handful of young guys that haven’t had the chance to compete just yet.
Two years ago, Tennessee would have been devastated to lose any scholarship offensive lineman. Now, they’ve got a couple a veterans moving to other schools for playing time. That’s a good sign, if you ask me.