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Several former Volunteers land on The Athletic’s top 100 impact transfers list

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NCAA Football: Oklahoma Spring Game Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what else happens, we know one category that Tennessee will lead the college football world in this year. That’s the number of transfer portal entries — not exactly something we’ll be bragging about.

With the NCAA clearing the way for players to transfer one time without penalty, several key player on last year’s roster took advantage in the midst of a coaching change.

The Athletic compiled a list of the top 100 transfers in college football this offseason, and to nobody’s surprise, Tennessee was well represented. The Volunteers had eight players appear on the list, including the top two spots.

Running back Eric Gray led things off at No. 1, who landed at Oklahoma. Linebacker Henry To’o To’o was next, who landed at Alabama. The rich get richer, right?

Gray is poised to go absolutely bananas playing in the Oklahoma offense against those suspect Big 12 defenses. In fact, he was already named the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Running back Ty Chandler, who landed at North Carolina, came in at No. 13 on the list. Pass rusher Deandre Johnson checked in at No. 15, now playing for the Miami Hurricanes.

Former five-star offensive tackle prospect Wanya Morris was next, followed quickly by defensive back Key Lawrence. Both players also joined Oklahoma, each ranking 47th and 48th on the list, respectively.

Linebacker Quavaris Crouch came in at No. 69, while offensive tackle Jahmir Johnson finished things off at No. 84.

This further illustrates just how tough of a job that Josh Heupel has in front of him. It’s hard enough to build a program in the SEC, but it’s that much tougher when you lose nearly a third of your roster to the portal.

Of course, Tennessee was able to replace some talent by dipping back into the transfer portal. The Volunteers added quarterback Joe Milton, who came in at 91st on The Athletic’s list.

Linebacker Juwan Mitchell, defensive tackle Da’Jon Terry, cornerback Brandon Turnage and defensive end Caleb Trembley were not a part of the top 100, but each will play big roles for Tennessee this fall.