This move is a bit of a surprise, but given where Tennessee football stands at tight end, it makes sense. Trinity Bell, who committed as a defensive end/tight end hybrid in the 2021 recruiting class out of Alabama, has entered the transfer portal.
Bell, who was a three-star across the board coming from Albertville High School in Marshall County, Ala., stands at 6’7″ 265 pounds and spent the year at tight end. He seemed to be the future of the program at that position.
However, this past year, Bell saw no action at the position. He was moved over to defensive line for work during bowl preparations. Matt Zenitz of On3 was the first to report that Bell entered the transfer portal, doing so Thursday night on Twitter.
Tennessee freshman tight end Trinity Bell has entered the transfer portal, @on3sports has learned.
6-foot-7, 260-pound Albertville, Ala. native.https://t.co/St4ensnpws
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 14, 2022
Although Princeton Fant and Jacob Warren both decided to return for next year, that wouldn’t seem to have an impact on Bell’s decision to transfer, as Tennessee football will certainly not have Fant in 2023 and may not have Warren. However, that doesn’t mean the Vols won’t still be deep at the position by that point.
Miles Campbell, who stands at 6’3″ 240 pounds, is another commitment from the 2021 class who is still on the roster. Also, Julian Nixon, who stands at 6’3″ 245 pounds, committed in that class. He was initially a receiver but moved over to tight end once practices began.
Sure, the 2022 class has no tight ends, but both Campbell and Nixon could still be at UT in 2023, and that year, they already have a commitment from Ethan Davis, who is a four-star across the board. As a result, if they don’t add anybody else, the guys currently on the roster or committed would make for a solid rotation by that point.
Of course, Heupel may not be done adding tight ends either. Taking all of this into account and the fact that Bell, despite his size, couldn’t get onto the field. What about his potential on the other side of the ball? After all, he did commit as a hybrid and saw work on the defensive line?
Well, Byron Young, Tyler Baron and Roman Harrison are still on the roster. Heupel is adding more talent to edge rusher as well, and Bell is likely to small to line up on the inside. As a result, it’s hard to see where he fits in there as well.
Simply put, Bell’s transfer makes sense, and while he could be great, Tennessee football has enough depth without him at either position to be fine. Just as they should with everybody else, Vol fans should root for the best for Bell and his future. They will be fine.