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Trio of Volunteers enter transfer portal

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

A trio of Tennessee Volunteers hit the transfer portal on Thursday afternoon. Running back Dee Beckwith, defensive end Tyler Baron and long snapper Will Albright will each search for new opportunities going forward.

Clearly, Baron is the biggest impact here. A big-time recruit, Baron emerged as a starter and impact player for Tennessee this season, which was his second with the program. Baron is a Knoxville native.

Tennessee beat out Kentucky and Ohio State to land Baron in the class of 2020. His departure is strange to say the least, as Baron was set to return to a huge role as one of Tennessee’s top defenders entering the 2022 season. The Volunteers already had a need for more pass rush, and this news amplifies that.

The Volunteers will now lean heavily on Byron Young, while searching for others to emerge behind him. 2022 signees James Pearce and Joshua Josephs will each have a chance to play right away.

Dee Beckwith’s departure is much less surprising, as the 6-4 athlete never really seemed to find a home on Tennessee’s roster. He signed as a four-star athlete, and most thought he would end up at receiver or even tight end. Pruitt’s staff moved him to running back out of necessity, which is where he ended up staying in 2021 under Heupel. He now moves on in search of a better fit.

Will Albright was the nation’s second ranked long snapped in the class of 2020, but lost the job to Matthew Salansky, who never looked back.

We all know that the transfer portal isn’t going anywhere — it’s a massive part of the sport that we all love. Tennessee now has a few openings, which they will likely use on the defensive side of the ball. The Volunteers have big needs at cornerback and inside linebacker, and now you can add defensive end to that list.

One name to watch over the next couple of days — Albany transfer DE Jared Verse. He’s rumored to be nearing a decision, picking between Tennessee, Florida State and a handful of others.