The new NCAA redshirt rules allow college football players to still maintain a year of eligibility and redshirt after appearing in four games. With the first four weeks of the 2019 season in the books now, football players across the country are taking advantage of this new rule by redshirting and deciding to transfer elsewhere for next season without losing a year of eligibility.
It would appear that at least two Vols are planning on doing that exact thing this season.
As first reported by 247Sports, two separate Vol players have put their names into the NCAA transfer portal this week. Junior linebacker Shanon Reid and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jacquez Jones have both entered their names into the transfer portal and are looking to move on from UT’s football program.
Reid entered the fall looking for a breakout junior campaign. Reid enjoyed a strong showing in the spring during practices and Tennessee’s Orange & White Game, but with the addition of true freshman Henry To’o To’o to the inside linebacker group over the summer and his stellar play to start the season, Reid’s playing time has dwindled as the season has gone on.
The 6-foot, 224-pound junior from Fort Myers, Florida set a career-high with seven tackles against UT-Chattanooga in Week 3, which broke his previous career-high from two weeks prior in Tennessee’s match-up with Georgia State when he totaled four stops. Those are the only stats Reid has registered this season, with his playing time decreasing drastically in Tennessee’s contests against BYU and Florida.
In 20 career appearances, Reid has 17 tackles to his credit.
As for Jones, he looked to be in line for an increased role on Tennessee’s offense after winning the backup slot receiver role in fall camp. But through four games this season, Jones’ impact has been minimal.
The Clearwater, Florida receiver beat out Jordan Murphy for the Vols’ backup slot receiver role behind Jauan Jennings, and Jones flashed some ability with a nine-yard run on a reverse in the Vols’ game against BYU. But thus far, that’s been his only registered stat of his UT career. Jones appeared in five games as a freshman in 2017 but sat out in 2018 and redshirted. He’s been credited with three appearances this year, playing against Georgia State, BYU, and UTC.
Both Reid and Jones can still remain on Tennessee’s roster if they choose to. Either player can remove their names from the transfer portal at any point and return to the Vols’ team. Defensive lineman Kurott Garland and linebacker Jordan Allen did just that this past offseason.
If both players elect to transfer, the Vols’ depth will take yet another hit on both sides of the ball.
Should Reid transfer out of the program, Tennessee will be left with just 11 scholarship linebackers on the roster. If Jones transfers, the Vols will have only nine scholarship wide receivers left, and one of those players — Deangelo Gibbs — can’t play this season as he sits out due to NCAA transfer rules.