Yet another veteran Tennessee starter in the secondary has entered the transfer portal. Wesley Walker, a starter at safety over the last 15 games or so, has decided to open his options up for his final season of eligibility.
Walker is the third Tennessee starter in the secondary to hit the portal, joining Doneiko Slaughter (Arkansas) and Tamarion McDonald (Ole Miss). Warren Burrell (Georgia Tech), Brandon Turnage, De’Shawn Rucker and Jack Luttrell (Arizona) have also left via the portal.
Walker appeared in 23 games over the last two seasons for Tennessee after transferring in from Georgia Tech ahead of the 2022 season. The former four-star prospect out of the Nashville area exits Knoxville with 89 tackles, two sacks, one interception and seven passes defensed. He was a much-needed band-aid for the Tennessee secondary, spending time at both the STAR position and safety.
We knew this before Walker’s decision, but it’s even more clear now — Tennessee is going to have a completely new look in the secondary, and they’re likely going to be pretty young at each of the five spots in 2024. Guys like Jordan Matthews, Rickey Gibson, Christian Conyer, John Slaughter and Christian Harrison are all going to get increased reps ahead of the bowl game.
Gabe Jeudy-Lally and Rickey Gibson will likely get the start on the outside against Iowa, with Jourdan Thomas manning the STAR position. Andre Turrentine and Jaylen McCollough will get the go at safety.
Tennessee has added two key pieces for 2024 this week, grabbing MTSU safety Nakobe Thomas and Oregon State cornerback Jermod McCoy. Both will factor heavily into the secondary puzzle next year, bringing some needed experience to the table for Willie Martinez and Tim Banks.