According to a report from GoVols247, redshirt junior offensive lineman Marcus Tatum has entered the transfer portal. He is the third member of the Tennessee Volunteer football team to enter the transfer portal this week.
Tatum was a familiar name on the offensive line who made an impact since his freshman year in 2016. After coming in as a 3-star tackle out of high school, Tatum showed promise and played in two games in 2016. He earned a starting job in 2017 and started in three contests before an injury sidelined him the rest of the year. Thankfully, Tatum was granted a medical redshirt.
It allowed him to make a major impact in 2018, where he appeared in all 12 games and made starts at left tackle in five of them. He struggled at the position but was ultimately the best option Tennessee had at the time.
Entering 2019, Tatum was expected to take more of a backseat role, thanks to the arrival of highly touted tackles Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright. That proved true—Tatum started in just three games this year after Wright suffered an ankle injury. Tatum was still a major contributor on the line who played in all 12 games up to this point.
This mainly hurts Tennessee’s depth. Tatum never lit the world on fire when he was playing—but he was more than capable as a backup or as an option in case of injury. It doesn’t help that fellow lineman Ryan Johnson entered the portal earlier this week. It is possible that one or both take their name out of the portal.
Now Tennessee will need to prepare other options at the right tackle spot. It figures that Wright and Morris will lock down the starting gigs, but the first option off the bench is fairly open right now. Tatum leaves Tennessee having made 30 appearances with 11 starts.