Tennessee DL Darel Middleton Enters The Transfer Portal

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    (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

    Tennessee’s defense will have to replace another body on the line of scrimmage, as a veteran lineman entered the transfer portal on Wednesday. Darel Middleton submitted his paperwork and is now officially in the portal and will be looking for a new place to call home.

    The Knoxville area native came to Tennessee from the JUCO ranks and looked to have a promising 2020, after recording 15 solo tackles in 2019, with 1 sack. Entering the 2021 season, there were high expectations for the monster defensive lineman, but he seemed to have problems staying on the field. He did finish the year with 15 total tackles, but there was worry within the program if Middleton was reaching his full potential.

    Going into the Spring, with a new coaching staff in place, Middleton would now be under the guidance of heralded DL coach Rodney Garner. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for him to fully take charge along the defensive line, but this never played out.

    Along with missing a few practices in the final stretch of the Spring, he also missed the Orange & White game, which was not due to injury. His time at Tennessee was always a back & forth of whether he was fully committed to the program. He has the potential to be a starter and have a successful career after college, but it will be the small things that determine his future.

    His departure could easily be classified as “mutual”, according to a few folks within the football program. So, his future is now in his hands, as he decides the best route to continue his football career.