Former Ensworth High School standout Andre Turrentine entered the transfer portal, On3’s Matt Zenutz first reported Monday. The defensive back is looking for a new home after not seeing any action in his freshman season at Ohio State.
Turrentine was a four-star recruit coming out of Ensworth, ranking as a top 200 recruit and the No. 4 player in the state of Tennessee in the class of 2021 according to the 247sports composite rankings.
The defensive back committed to Ohio State in March of 2020 — early in the recruiting cycle and before Tennessee’s 2021 recruiting class took off under head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
The 6-foot defensive back was listed as a corner coming out of high school, but spent most of his freshman season working at safety on the practice field. Still, Turrentine has the flexibility to play multiple positions in the back end and Tennessee’s defensive coaches harped on the importance of flexibility this spring.
Turrentine will be immediately eligible at his next home and will have four years of eligibility after redshirting his freshman season at Ohio State.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel wasn’t tipping his hand at where the Vols are looking to add players in the transfer portal. The second year head coach emphasized the need to find the best players in the portal as well as strong culture fits.
“You just take a look at your roster with where you’re at and what are some needs that you absolutely have to patch whether it’s starters, depth or competition at the position,” Heupel said. “It’s all those things. So, in today’s landscape, it’s so different than it used to be. You have a 365-day cycle essentially to kind of evaluate your roster and try to help it out.”
The Vols lost their top two defensive backs from last season’s team with Alontae Taylor declaring for the NFL Draft and STAR Theo Jackson running out of eligibility.
Tennessee was without a handful of other potential starters this spring as Warren Burrell, Brandon Turnage and a handful of other defensive backs missed the entire spring.