If you paid any attention at all to Tennessee’s spring practice period, you know that linebacker was a huge issue for first year defensive coordinator Tim Banks. It was a simple lack of numbers, with Henry To’o To’o and Quavaris Crouch entering the transfer portal after Jeremy Pruitt was fired.
Jeremy Banks was hurt, and then Martavius French, Aaron Willis and Aaron Beasley were suspended. That left about three scholarship linebackers for Tennessee to operate with, and the status of some of those suspended players remains up in the air.
The need for another body (or two) is obvious, and a connection with transferring Texas linebacker Juwan Mitchell was an easy one to make. His relationship with the Tennessee staff has been strengthening over the last couple of weeks, culminating with Mitchell visiting during the Orange and White Game last weekend.
Following that, Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell has called Tennessee the team to beat.
Just last week I mentioned that Tennessee and Miami had turned up their level of interest with the Texas transfer. Now it looks like that this will be the Vols’ race to lose. The coaching staff has made him a priority and after visiting Knoxville for the Tennessee spring game (and hanging out with recent commit Joe Milton) it will take a drastic change of plans for him to end up elsewhere.
In 18 career games at Texas, Mitchell was credited with 99 total tackles. The 6-1, 230 pound linebacker will be entering his senior season in 2021. He would likely walk right into a starting role for the Volunteers, plugging the biggest need on the roster in year one for Josh Heupel.
Stay tuned here as Tennessee makes a final push to get him into the program before individual workouts begin on June 1st.