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Baylen Buchanan enters NCAA transfer portal

Tennessee v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After choosing to opt out of the 2020 season due to an ongoing injury situation, defensive back Baylen Buchanan has now entered the NCAA’s transfer portal. Matt Zenitz broke the news this afternoon.

Buchanan was a starter as Tennessee’s nickel cornerback, until a spine issue forced him to the sidelines. The veteran defensive back has spent nearly two seasons working his way back, and has now chosen to look elsewhere to play out his final season of eligibility.

Now a senior, Buchanan has appeared in 31 games for the Volunteers. He’s a former three-star recruit, signing in Tennessee’s 2016 class.

Shawn Shamburger filled Buchanan’s role for Tennessee last season and through part of this year, but has now also opted out of the rest of the 2020 season. Freshman Key Lawrence received work at the position during the bye week ahead of the Arkansas game.

There was hope that Buchanan would be able to return in 2021, thanks to the NCAA’s eligibility ruling. As things currently stand, Bryce Thompson, Alontae Taylor and Warren Burrell would be the Vols’ returning cornerbacks with experience. Seniors Kenneth George Jr. and Shawn Shamburger are also eligible to return if they choose to do so.

Buchanan finishes his Tennessee career with 73 total tackles and five passes defended.