Mark Stoops Raves About Tennessee Transfer During Media Days

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    After spending about six months in the transfer portal following two years at Tennessee, former Vol running back Dee Beckwith transferred to SEC East rival Kentucky in June. Now, just about a month into his time in Lexington, Beckwith is already impressing the Wildcats’ coaching staff.

    During his time on stage at SEC Media Days this week, Kentucky HC Mark Stoops spoke about the former Tennessee transfer.

    “Then with Dee, he is a large athlete,” Stoops said. “He’s a big boy. He’s a guy that can confuse you at times because he can play so many different positions. That’s the nice thing. That’s what [OC] Rich [Scangarello] really liked about him and we liked about him as a staff, was we could be very multiple with him. If you watched the 49ers in the past, some of the creativity, different things we could use with a big guy like that, could play wideout, H back, different things. So we’ll move him around.”

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    The 6-foot-5, 227-pound running back was originally signed to Jeremy Pruitt’s recruiting class at Tennessee. Beckwith played in three games for Tennessee during his redshirt freshman season but struggled to get on the field his sophomore year following Josh Heupel and his staff taking things over at Tennessee. The Vols had solid depth in the backfield in 2021 and were never really able to find a spot for the Alabama native.

    Despite Stoops’ praise towards Dee Beckwith and his potential though, the running back could be stuck in somewhat of a backfield traffic jam at Kentucky as well. The Wildcats will have a two-headed beast at running back this year with two redshirt senior backs in Chris Rodriguez Jr and Kavosiey Smoke.

    In Tennessee’s victory over Kentucky in Lexington last season, Rodriguez Jr and Smoke combined for 33 carries, 162 yards, and one rushing touchdown.

    Still, though, Stoops seems eager to get Beckwith involved with the Wildcats’ offense in some form or fashion. Considering Smoke and Rodriguez Jr are both under six feet tall, Kentucky may slot in Beckwith as a bigger, more powerful change-of-pace or short yardage back.

    Tennessee will host Kentucky this upcoming season in Knoxville just days before Halloween on Oct. 29, 2022.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.