Once overlooked, transfers are competing with Tennessee football’s prized recruits

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Jermod McCoy was a high school wide receiver who signed with the only power conference school that offered him a scholarship in the 2023 class.

A year later, he was among the most coveted cornerbacks in the transfer portal.

McCoy chose Tennessee over Texas A&M, Auburn, Oregon, Washington and other schools who weren’t interested in him the first time around.

“I ended up going to Oregon State because it was the biggest school I had (an offer from) at the time,” said McCoy, who transferred to UT in December. “But I definitely felt like I should’ve been in the SEC.”

It’s a common but recent narrative in college football. Because of the portal, under-recruited players are getting a second chance to play immediately at the highest level.

UT is relying on three such players to retool its defensive secondary.

After moving to cornerback, McCoy had a breakout freshman season at Oregon State and jumped into the portal to capitalize on his success at a new position.

Jakobe Thomas got little attention from power conference schools when he came out of Tullahoma in 2021. But he developed into a reliable safety over three seasons at Middle Tennessee State to become a prized pick-up in the portal.

And Temple transfer Jalen McMurray, who was rated a two-star prospect in high school by some recruiting services, is now a valued veteran in his first UT spring practice.

Transfer portal gives and takes away for Tennessee

Proponents of the transfer portal point to these second-chance situations as evidence that the system works. Opponents counter with the harm that it does to the schools that initially signed and developed the player.

After all, if UT is a winner in these portal moves, then Oregon State, Temple and MTSU were the losers. But the newest Vols are happy to land at an SEC school, which was their initial goal coming out of…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/once-overlooked-transfers-competing-tennessee-091831309.html

Author : Knox News | The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Publish date : 2024-04-02 09:18:31

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