RTI contributor Murphy Carlton is the author of this article
Tennessee has made another change on the defensive side of their coaching staff on Monday.
Shelton Felton, who was serving as the outside linebackers and defensive ends coach at Akron, is expected to be the new outside linebackers coach for the Vols according to a report from 247Sports.
Felton will be replacing Chris Rumph, who is reportedly headed to the NFL to be the linebackers coach for the Houston Texans.
Felton was on staff at Tennessee during Jeremy Pruitt’s first season in 2018 in an off-field role as a quality control assistant. Prior to his first stint at Tennessee, Felton served as an assistant coach at the University of Chattanooga. In 2017, Chattanooga held the No. 1 defense in the entire Southern Conference.
Prior to joining Chattanooga, Felton was the head coach of Crisp County High School in Cordele, Georgia. The Cougars went 3-7 in Felton’s first year in 2015 before he helped guide them to a 13-1 record and the school’s first ever state semifinal appearance. He coached four-star defensive end and current Auburn Tiger Markaviest Bryant to All-American status as well.
Felton played football for Troy as a defensive lineman from 1999-2002.
At Akron, Felton made $110,000 last year according to the USA Today assistant coaches salary database. Rumph, the coach at UT who Felton will be replacing, made just over $800,000 last season with the Vols.
This is the second reported change to Tennessee’s defensive staff today, as defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has reportedly agreed to join Will Muschamp’s staff at South Carolina. Rocker will be replaced by Jimmy Brumbaugh, who was most recently the defensive line coach at Colorado. Neither of these hires have been made official, nor has any deal been finalized.
The Vols will miss what Darrell Taylor brought on and off the field, but there are reasons to be excited about the current outside linebacker group. Deandre Johnson, Kivon Bennett, and Roman Harrison all showed promise last season, and incoming freshmen Tyler Baron and Morven Joseph come in with very high ceilings. Felton will be tasked with getting the most out of this group.