Transfer portal season hit Tennessee football quickly in a negative way. After losing two receivers and two running backs within a day, the Vols have now lost a key player at a position where they are starting to lack in depth for the future.
Tight end Miles Campbell revealed he will enter the portal. Campbell, who stands at 6’3″ 235 pounds, was a highly touted member of the Vols’ 2021 recruiting class. He appeared in four games as a freshman and against the UT-Martin Skyhawks this past year.
Having taken a redshirt in 2021, Campbell will have three years of eligibility wherever he decides to go. He announced his decision to leave Tennessee football on Twitter Thursday, the same day the other four UT players made the announcement.
Amongst all the losses, Campbell’s is a bit of an issue. Sure, he hasn’t played much the past two years, but that’s because Princeton Fant and Jacob Warren were on the roster. Fant is out of eligibility after this year, and Warren is a senior who took part in the Senior Day ceremonies against the Missouri Tigers.
As a result, Campbell and Charlie Browder, who transferred from the UCF Knights last year, were set to take over for them. Sure, Hunter Salmons is still on the roster, but he’s a walk-on. It seems much more likely that Campbell and Browder would be a part of the rotation.
Now, though, Tennessee football is much more thin at tight end than anybody would have expected. Luckily for the Vols, four-star Ethan Davis, a member of the 2022 recruiting class, brings a ton of hype, and he could be the reason Campbell hit the portal.
However, that means just Davis, Browder and Salmon are guaranteed to be in the rotation, and given how Josh Heupel likes to run two tight ends for different situations, he could use another in the system. One injury could end up proving costly to the Vols.
Assuming Warren doesn’t come back, then Browder, at 6’7″ 250 pounds, would probably play the role similar to him, as a red zone tight end and blocking tight end. Davis looks like he’ll step in as a true freshman and become that receiving and do-it-all tight end.
What also hurts this is the transfer of Len’Neth Whitehead, as Heupel is once again thin at the power back position. That was fine this past year, as he could use Princeton Fant at fullback, but can he do that with the tight ends next year without a proper amount of depth?
That’s not a guarantee. Tennessee football has now lost receivers Jimmy Calloway and Jimmy Holiday and running back Justin Williams-Thomas in addition to Whitehead and Campbell to the portal. Campbell is the most significant loss so far for them.