Tennessee freshman defensive back enters transfer portal

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    Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee freshman defensive back Key Lawrence has entered the transfer portal, Rocky Top Insider learned Friday afternoon. Lawrence is the fifth Vol to enter the transfer portal this week, joining Henry To’o To’o, Eric Gray, Quavaris Crouch and Jahmir Johnson.

    Lawrence was the highest-ranked signee in Tennessee’s top-1o ranked recruiting class that recently fired head football coach Jeremy Pruitt signed during the 2020 recruiting cycle. Pruitt was fired on Monday with cause following a lengthy investigation that found major violations into the program’s recruiting practice.

    Tennessee hired UCF athletic director Danny White in the wake of Pruitt’s firing, which also led to the retirement of Phillip Fulmer. White was announced as UT’s new AD on Friday afternoon and immediately went to work in his search for a new head football coach.

    Lawrence was ranked as the No. 81 overall player in the country coming out of Ensworth High School in Nashville, Tennessee. He was considered the top player in the state of Tennessee and the sixth-ranked safety in the country.

    The 6-foot-2, 200 lbs. defensive back saw action in all 10 games this past season as a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor during his true freshman campaign. He had a season-high four tackles in Tennessee’s season-finale against No. 5 Texas A&M. Lawrence had two tackles and recorded his first pass breakup in the win at Vanderbilt after recording his first two career tackles against No. 2. Alabama. Lawrence made his Tennessee debut in the Vols’ season-opening victory over South Carolina.