3 positions Tennessee football needs to prioritize in Spring transfer portal

Tennessee football wrapped up its spring camp with the Orange & White Game ahead of the spring transfer portal window.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel during Tennessee's Orange & White spring football game at
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel during Tennessee's Orange & White spring football game at / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA

In the Josh Heupel era, Tennessee football concluded its fourth Orange & White Game. The Orange team earned the win 21-14, but there are a few positions where Tennessee could get a little more help through the portal to help them in the Summer and Fall. 

The defense had the upper hand early in the game. The offense had many injuries and players not participating, so it was easy for the defense to overwhelm the offense up front early in the game. Neither team's offense was able to get in the endzone in the first quarter, and it looked like the offense was unable to move the ball throughout most of it. 

Part of the offensive struggle was a result of a struggling offensive line and running backs unable to get yards for each offense. Both positions have a list of players with injuries, so it's no surprise they struggled to move the ball on the ground. 

Each side of the ball faced some issues throughout the day as the offense started finding its groove in the second quarter. While I think each of the position groups on this list will be fine, they could use another depth piece to help them in the fall if they do have the injury bug when the season starts.

The spring transfer portal window opens on April 15 and will stay open until April 30. Here are three position groups Heupel and the Vols should focus on in the spring transfer portal. 

Running back

The run game was an issue in the Orange & White Game. Both offenses combined for 68 yards without their top two running backs, Dylan Sampson and Cam Seldon. Will the Vols need to rely on their third or fourth running back this year? Hopefully not, but it is a possibility. 

If injuries continue to plague the Vols, they will need another option in the backfield. Although an All-American running back candidate would be great, they don't need to go after one. They must look for another depth piece to add to the roster to help the running game throughout a long SEC season. 

Tennessee has figured out how to run a three running back system in years past with different backs splitting time, but injuries could handicap the Vols this year or limit the efficiency of the running back position. That's not ideal, with a young quarterback running the offense for the first time. 

Offensive line

One big reason for the offensive struggle is the long list of offensive linemen injured for the spring game. The Vols had six linemen out due to injuries. While that might not be an issue this fall, it should be a point of emphasis for Heupel to improve in case some of the injuries they are facing up front carry over into the summer and fall. 

Tennessee also has a strong veteran presence up front and will replace a few linemen after this season. While we can't get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important in the world of NIL and transfer portal to always have a backup plan, especially with the offensive line. 

There will likely be a handful of solid offensive linemen hitting the portal during the spring window, so Tennessee will have an opportunity to find some depth pieces if they feel like the offensive line will still be an issue this fall. 


The defensive secondary is the third group Tennessee could focus on during the spring transfer portal window. The Vols' secondary has struggled over the past few years, and it seemed like it struggled again in the spring game. 

The secondary also struggled to keep up with the receivers once the offense started moving the football. With each team's run game struggling, they had to move the ball through the air. Each team was able to find holes in the secondary and move the ball through the air in the second quarter. 

Tennessee revamped its secondary through the transfer portal after the 2023 season but could look to add some additional help during the spring window to continue to fill in areas it struggled in throughout spring. 

Takeaways from Tennessee football's Orange & White Game. Takeaways from Tennessee football's Orange & White Game. dark. Next

We will see what position groups Heupel and Tennessee prioritize during the spring transfer portal window or if they try to bring in any new players at all. With the world of NIL growing, we can see that the spring transfer portal window is an important time for every team to add players where they are struggling in their last attempt to build their team for the following season.