Tennessee is currently undergoing a total overhaul in the secondary. With a senior-heavy depth chart, it’s not all that surprising. Safety Jaylen McCollough and cornerback Kamal Hadden saw their eligibility expire. Names like Doneiko Slaughter, Warren Burrell, Tamarion McDonald, De’Shawn Rucker and Brandon Turnage have opted to take their final season (or seasons) of eligibility elsewhere, perhaps hoping to cash in on some new NIL money.
The roster turnover looks rough on paper, but Tennessee has recruited well at the position. Those younger players are going to get their chances starting in the spring, but you’d still like to have some veteran depth to pair with them.
This week, Tennessee made some moves in hopes of bolstering that depth. Three new offers went out to defensive backs, which makes sense after the exodus we’ve seen over the past several days.
Here are the names to know.
Jermod McCoy, Oregon State
McCoy is coming off of his freshman season for the Beavers and hit the portal following the exit of his head coach Jonathan Smith to Michigan State. The 6-0, 170 pound defensive back was active in his first season of college football, picking off two passes and swatting away seven more. McCoy is a former three-star prospect.
Oregon, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are also players here as McCoy is set to cash in on a big-time freshman season.
McCoy visited Tennessee on Wednesday.
Devon Marshall, Villanova
Tennessee sent out an offer to Marshall earlier this week. He hits the portal following his sophomore season, where he was credited with 11 pass break-ups and 47 total tackles. Marshall entered the portal back on December 11th.
Mississippi State, NC State, Vanderbilt, Houston, Indiana, Pitt, Boston College, Cincinnati and West Virginia have also offered Marshall to this point. The 6-0, 200 pound defensive back would have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Trey Jones, Central Michigan
Trey Jones is one of the newest offers Tennessee has made in the transfer portal. The Central Michigan safety is originally from the state of Alabama, but headed north to play for the Chippewas. The 6-2 safety has appeared in over 40 games, racking up 188 total tackles and three interceptions. Jones will be a sixth-year super senior in 2024.
Keep in mind, Tennessee still could return Gabe Jeudy-Lally and Wesley Walker. We’ll get those decisions and more in the coming weeks.