Tennessee has potentially lost another key player tonight, as former four-star defensive back Key Lawrence has entered the transfer portal. Lawrence just finished up his first season in Knoxville, earning some playing time late in the year in a nickel (Star) role.
Tennessee freshman defensive back Key Lawrence has entered the transfer portal, @TheAthleticCFB has learned.— David Ubben (@davidubben) January 22, 2021
Lawrence was the Vols' top-rated signee in the 2020 class.
Lawrence is a former top 100 prospect, coming out of the Nashville area. He appeared in all ten games for the Volunteers, contributing on special teams while learning a few different defensive back positions in Jeremy Pruitt’s defense.
He joins key players Henry To’o To’o, Eric Gray, Jahmir Johnson and Quavaris Crouch in the portal, as each weigh their options while Danny White kicks off his search for a new football coach.
Lawrence picked Tennessee over Miami, LSU and Oklahoma back in 2019.
The 6-2 defensive back was likely in line to be a major contributor in 2021 with Bryce Thompson moving on to the NFL. Tennessee has Alontae Taylor, Warren Burrell and Kenneth George left at cornerback. Shawn Shamburger is expected return after a trip to the portal himself. The Vols certainly need more depth at cornerback, and losing Lawrence here would be yet another big blow for the roster.
The transfer portal has created a sense of urgency here for Tennessee in this situation. You saw them zero in on White and get the deal done, you can probably expect White to move fairly quickly here in his search for the next head coach. Hopefully the players in the portal will stick around long enough to see who he can bring in.