Roster attrition is a normal part of college football. Whether it’s because of coaching changes, lack of playing time, personal matters, or any number of reasons, players leaving one school for another is just a part of the game.
Tennessee has experienced its fair share of transfers over the years, and the last few years especially have seen a number of players transfer out of the program.
Butch Jones has been primarily responsible for Tennessee’s recruiting classes since the 2014 class, but he also had a large part in constructing the 2013 class as well. Blaming him for transfers in the 2011 and 2012 classes, for example, is irresponsible because of the coaching change that occurred after the 2012 season. Attrition occurs more often after coaching changes, and Jones didn’t recruit those players.
But Jones is fully responsible for the players that have transferred out since the 2013 class, and there have been a great deal of those.
Since the Vols’ 2013 class was signed, 32 different players have transferred under Butch Jones. Offensive lineman Venzell Boulware became the most recent Vol to transfer when he announced his intent to leave the program on Monday.
The 2013, 2014, and 2015 classes combined have seen 30 different players transfer out of the Tennessee football program. That doesn’t include players who have been kicked off the team or ruled academically ineligible. These are just the players who transferred of their own accord.
Tennessee pulled in huge classes in 2014 and 2015, so attrition from those classes were expected. But of the 62 players brought in from those two classes alone, 22 players have now transferred from Tennessee. That means 35.5 percent of the players in those classes have transferred, and that doesn’t include three more players who were kicked off or deemed academically ineligible.
If you include those three, those two classes have an attrition rate of 40.3 percent.
I searched for data to figure out if that percentage was common among Power Five schools, but unfortunately no official research has been conducted. There was research posted in a forum on Reddit that suggested most Power Five schools experience anywhere between 35 to 40 percent attrition rates in their recruiting classes over a 10-year period, but that data should be taken with a grain of salt.
Regardless, in Tennessee’s case the amount of transfers hasn’t been the only concerning part of it all; the players themselves who have transferred have been noteworthy as well.
From Jalen Hurd to Preston Williams, the Vols have had several highly-rated players leave under Jones for some very controversial reasons as well.
Here’s a list of every player who has transferred from Tennessee under Butch Jones with a brief analysis of each recruiting class’s fallout.