Tennessee is set to host one of the hottest names in the transfer portal this weekend. Following the departure of Darnell Wright to the NFL, the Volunteers will be getting a visit from Rhode Island Ajani Cornelius.
Bruce Feldman at The Athletic had the report.
URI OT Ajani Cornelius has gone from 0-star recruit to the hottest commodity in The Portal. He’s visited Nebraska & Oregon. This weekend he visits Tennessee & Ohio State. My story on his mercurial rise to stardom that’s actually been years in the making: https://t.co/wMAEaDfs4S— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 15, 2022
Tennessee is set to return Gerald Mincey and Jeremiah Crawford at tackle, but the depth behind those two is certainly lacking — or at least a total unknown.
Cornelius just finished up his sophomore season, but already has 22 starts under his belt at the right tackle position. Per NextGen Prospects, he surrendered only one sack in over 500 snaps. The 6-5, 310 pound offensive lineman is out of Harlem, New York.
Ohio State, Auburn and now over 20 others from the FBS ranks have sent out offers to Cornelius, making him one of the most sought after players in the portal.
Tennessee has been pretty quiet to this point in the transfer portal. Interestingly enough, most of their connections so far have come on the offensive side of the ball, as Josh Heupel gets set to reload as most of his core moves on to the NFL. Up front specifically, Tennessee will return three of five starters next season, with Wright leaving along with veteran guard Jerome Carvin. Tennessee has numbers on the depth chart, but adding another veteran to the mix would give Glen Elarbee some needed flexibility.
Texas offensive tackle Andrej Karic is another name to keep an eye on. Also finishing up his sophomore season, Karic appeared in 14 games and made two starts for the Longhorns. He visited Tennessee on Thursday.
Tennessee is clearly in on the tackle and receiver market here, although nothing seems imminent at this point.