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Former Blue Chip Tennessee Football Target, Kentucky Standout Enters Transfer Portal

Photo by Elliot Hess/Kentucky Athletics

Standout Kentucky defensive tackle Justin Rogers plans on entering the transfer portal shortly, 247sports Steve Wiltfong first reported Tuesday morning.

Rogers was a two-year starter and three-year contributor for the Kentucky defense, totaling 62 tackles in his time in Lexington.

The Oak Park, Michigan native was almost a Vol. Former Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt and the Vols heavily pursued Rogers out of high school and once appeared to be the leader in his recruitment before Rogers committed to Kentucky.

Rogers was a blue-chip recruit and once a five-star recruit early in his recruitment. The defensive tackle ranked as the No. 52 player in the nation and No. 1 player in the state of Michigan according to the 247sports composite rankings.

More From RTI: Tennessee Football 2022 Season PFF Grades

Once in Lexington, Rogers played a major role on Kentucky’s defense. The 6-foot-3, 332 pound defensive tackle totaled 35 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks in his junior season after totaling 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks as a sophomore.

Tennessee isn’t in desperate need of defensive tackle help entering the 2023 season but you can never have too many capable bodies on the defensive front. Rogers’ 71.3 Pro Football Focus grade from last season would have tied the Vols’ second highest ranked defensive lineman’s grade and tied as the top grade for a defensive tackle.

Despite playing three seasons without a redshirt, Rogers has two years of eligibility remaining thanks to NCAA COVID-19 eligibility relief from the 2020 season.

The Vols have landed four players in the transfer portal to date including Indiana kicker Charles Campbell, UC-Davis tight end McCallan Castles, Texas offensive tackle Andrej Karic and BYU linebacker Keenan Pili.

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