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Vols pass rusher enters NCAA transfer portal

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee senior outside linebacker Deandre Johnson will enter the NCAA transfer portal, according to a report from Matt Zenitz of

Johnson was UT’s leading pass rusher this season following the departure of Kivon Bennett, who was dismissed from the team following an arrest in November. Johnson finished the year with 6.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He had the ninth-most sacks in the SEC after earning SEC defensive lineman of the week awards following his performance against South Carolina in the season-opener in which he set career-highs in tackles (6), tackles for loss (2.5), and sacks (2.5) while also forcing a fumble.

As a junior in 2019, Johnson appeared in all 13 games with two starts at outside linebacker. He finished with 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks , four quarterback hurries and one forced fumbles.

Johnson played in all 12 games as a sophomore in 2018 and made one start as a sophomore. He ended the season with 13 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Johnson earned his first-career start and recorded two tackles vs. No. 1 Alabama, as well as a career-high four tackles, including his first sack of the season in an upset win over No. 21 Auburn.

The Miami, Florida native signed with the Vols in the class of 2017. Johnson was a three-star recruit out of Miami Southridge High School and helped lead the Spartans to the 2016-17 8A State Championship with a 12-2 record. He graduated high school early to enroll at Tennessee in January.

Johnson played in six games as reserve defensive end as a true freshman during Butch Jones’ final season as head coach of the Vols in 2017. He totaled four tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and two forced fumbles that season. Johnson ad an impressive collegiate debut against Indiana State in the home-opener that season, tallying three tackles, including two stops for a loss, a 10-yard sack and two forced fumbles.

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