Although Josh Heupel did an impressive job adding lots of talent via the transfer portal this offseason, it doesn’t change the fact that Tennessee football lost more than it gained. The Vols lost numerous elite weapons to the portal. They also lost three players to graduation and a fourth as an early entry into the NFL Draft.
Taking all of this into account, UT just lost a lot of talent, and Heupel will have to do a lot of work to offset those departures. As we get set to rank the biggest losses from last year, we’re going to base this on how tough it will be to fill the void each player left.
That includes the talent of the player leaving and the amount of depth at the position they played. In some cases, they made things harder for the future than they even made them for this year, but all of them made it hard for this year. Let’s go ahead and dive in. This is our ranking of the 10 toughest players UT has to replace this year.
New team: Texas A&M Aggies
There was another major transfer on the offensive line and two major losses to graduation, all of which we’ll get to, which moved Jahmir Johnson down a bit. However, he has been a three-year reliable rotational player on the line, particularly at tackle. Right now, tackle is where the Vols could use the most help.
Not only did another key tackle transfer, but K’Rojhn Calbert, one of their most experienced players there, is now hurt and will likely miss a couple of months. That makes Johnson’s transfer to the Texas A&M Aggies even more devastating.
The one good thing for Tennessee football is that Johnson only had a year left. However, the 6’5″ 300-pound veteran appeared in 24 games with 17 starts from 2018 to 2020, including seven games last year and five starts at right tackle. There is some talent at the position, but his departure makes the depth situation even worse there.