Tennessee football offensive lineman preparing for breakout season

Georgia v Tennessee
Georgia v Tennessee / Silas Walker/GettyImages

Tennessee football had to work the transfer portal to add a few missing pieces to its roster for the 2024 season. One of those additions was LSU tackle Lance Heard, a former five-star tackle from Monroe, Louisiana. 

The move to bring Heard to Rocky Top was to replace Gerald Mincey, who transferred to Kentucky. Not only did the Vols replace Mincey, but they upgraded the position. The Vols will now have Heard at left tackle, and redshirt senior John Campbell will play right tackle. 

Heard was a five-star recruit in the 2023 recruiting class. He spent only one season at LSU before joining one of the best offenses in the country in Knoxville. While he only spent one year in Baton Rouge, he played in 12 games and recorded 195 snaps. 

CBS Sports' Will Backus looked at second-year players across college football who could have a breakout season, and Tennessee's new left tackle, Heard, made the list. Backus noted Heard's ability to be an immediate starter and impact player for the Vols as reasons why he made the list. 

"Heard, the No. 3 offensive tackle in the Class of 2023, initially signed with LSU and spent his freshman season as one of the Tigers' top reserves," Backus wrote. "Given the loaded depth chart ahead of him in Baton Rouge, which was filled with young starting options, Heard transferred to Tennessee as one of the top offensive linemen in the portal. He'll start at left tackle immediately for the Vols, tasked with guarding new starting quarterback and former five-star Nico Iamaleava's blindside."

The Vols will have a strong offensive line this season, with Heard and Campbell holding down the edges. Cooper Mays and Javontez Spraggins are also returning, so Nico Iamaleava should have a strong offensive line presence in front of him. 

Heard was one of the best tackles in the 2023 recruiting class and followed that up as one of the best offensive linemen available in the transfer portal. Tennessee has an elite tackle with a little bit of experience, and he is ready to come in and make his mark as a premier SEC tackle.