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Tennessee in the mix for Mississippi State transfer Fabien Lovett

A situation to monitor.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For the second season in a row, Tennessee is in the hunt for one of the top defensive lineman in the transfer portal. Fabien Lovett, a 6-4, 315 pound defensive tackle, entered the portal last week after a controversial tweet from new Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach. Lovett is the second player to transfer since the tweet.

Per 247Sports, Lovett’s phone has been busy since the news broke. He’s heard from more than 20 schools, one of which being Tennessee. Knoxville is one of a few places he’s hoping to visit once the recruiting restrictions are lifted. Oregon, Florida State and Michigan were the other schools that he mentioned.

Lovett plans to apply for immediate eligibility.

In his redshirt freshman season at Mississippi State, Lovett was credited with 19 total tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Lovett signed with the Bulldogs in the class of 2018 as a four-star prospect. He was the fourth-ranked player to come out of the state of Mississippi during that cycle.

Jeremy Pruitt has really beefed up his defensive front since arriving at Tennessee, and Lovett would certainly add to that size. The Volunteers will get Emmit Gooden back from a knee injury this fall, while returning Darel Middleton, Aubrey Solomon and several others. They aren’t hurting for depth on the defensive line, but with potentially three years left, Lovett has some upside to him looking ahead.

Tennessee offered Lovett in the 2018 class, along with Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss. Two years later, they’ve got another shot to bring him to Knoxville.