Vol OL Grad Transfer Announces New School Destination

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    Photo Credit: Will Boling/RTI

    Two weeks ago, redshirt junior offensive lineman Ryan Johnson announced that he would be forgoing his final year of eligibility at Tennessee and would enter the NCAA transfer portal as a graduate transfer. On Monday afternoon, Johnson announced where he’ll be going to school for one final season.

    Johnson took to Twitter on Monday to announce that Georgia Tech will be getting his services for the 2020 season. The Yellow Jackets struggled with their offensive line in 2019, so it’s expected Johnson should have a chance to contribute or even start right away.

    This season, Johnson began the year as a starter at right guard for the first two games of the year, but he was relegated to a bench role as the season wore on. He started again in Tennessee’s home match-up with Mississippi State, but he was on the bench since and rotated in to spell UT’s starters.

    Prior to this season, the 6-foot-6, 301-pound lineman from Brentwood, TN started in all 12 games in 2018, with 11 starts coming at center after Brandon Kennedy sustained a season-ending injury in practice after the Vols’ season opener. As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Johnson appeared in all 12 games for Tennessee and made four starts at three different positions in the final month of the season.

    Johnson grew up a Vol fan, and the decision to transfer surprised some Vol fans. But it was evident that the veteran lineman wasn’t in line for significant playing time with the emergence of younger linemen, and with center Brandon Kennedy trying to get a sixth year of eligibility, the depth chart at UT just wasn’t in Johnson’s favor.

    Johnson joined the Vols as a four-star prospect from Brentwood Academy in their 2016 signing class. All in all, Johnson appeared in 36 games as a Vol, making 19 starts.

    Academics likely played a large role in Johnson’s decision to transfer to Georgia Tech. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in structural engineering.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.