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Report: Tennessee OL coach Will Friend leaving for South Carolina

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What does it mean?

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Let the staff shuffling begin. Tennessee could see several staff changes coming following a 3-7 season in year three under Jeremy Pruitt — and the first just happened.

According to Football Scoop, Tennessee offensive line coach Will Friend will leave for South Carolina.

The loss of Friend won’t have Tennessee fans shedding too many tears. Joining the staff as a close friend of Jeremy Pruitt back in 2017, the offensive line hasn’t exactly shown progress over the last few seasons. Tennessee has able to assemble a starting five that consisted of four five-star prospects this season, yet their performance was underwhelming for the majority of the year.

Five-star prospects Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright have struggled to maintain their starting spots, as the offensive line combination has been constantly shuffled over the last two years. There’s little doubt that the offensive line is in a better spot than it was back in 2018, but that’s not saying a whole lot considering the starting point.

Is this the first of a few moves for Tennessee? It’s possible, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Tennessee lost six straight games by double digits, and the lack of progress at the quarterback position was once again alarming.

This team was supposed to be able to lean on its all-star offensive line, who earned the nickname the ‘Tennessee Valley Authority’ in the preseason. That didn’t happen — at least with any consistency. And it certainly didn’t happen in the biggest moments of the season.

Tennessee now has openings on the offensive and defensive line. Assuming Jeremy Pruitt is the one that gets to fill those openings, it will be interesting to see who he can pull as he enters the 2021 with the hottest seat in the country.