In Tennessee’s 11-2 resurgent season in year two under head coach Josh Heupel, the Vols continued to flex their muscles in the transfer portal.
In 2021, Hendon Hooker and Velus Jones Jr. had big years, paying off as significant transfer portal lands for the Vols. While there was no transfer who made a Hendon Hooker like impact in 2022, a handful stood out.
Former USC Bru McCoy WR was among the best, serving as one of Tennessee’s top two receivers for the majority of the season with Cedric Tillman sidelined.
Former Florida left tackle Gerald Mincey was also key for Tennessee, becoming the main starting left tackle and doing well in the role. Mincey split time with Jeremiah Crawford throughout the season, and the former Gator dealt with some injuries, but he finished the season having played the majority of snaps at left tackle.
Tennessee added two secondary pieces from the portal last year in Ohio State’s Andre Turrentine and Georgia Tech’s Wesley Walker. Neither became week-to-week starters, but Walker also saw plenty of playing time on the back end each game. The former Yellow Jacket did well in the role, too, earning a 77.4 PFF grade for the season–the highest among UT defenders–across 509 plays. Turrentine earned a 58.8 PFF rating for the season on 117 plays.
McCoy, Walker and Mincey highlight a seven-man 2022 transfer class for the Volunteers. Let’s take a look at how all seven performed in 2022.
LT Gerald Mincey
Mincey transferred out of Florida as soon as the regular season ended and made the decision to come to Tennessee early in the offseason. One of the biggest stories all throughout training camp was the battle for the starting spot at left tackle between Mincey and Jeremiah Crawford. Josh Heupel gave little information to the media about who was ahead throughout the competition, but Mincey ultimately started the first game. Despite dealing with injuries, the former Gator out-snapped his left tackle counter part 457-424.
Mincey received a 57.5 PFF grade for the season, ranking third among six Tennessee offensive lineman that played at least 400 snaps.
QB Navy Shuler
Shuler, the son of VFL great Heath Shuler, came to Tennessee from Appalachian State. Shuler was at the bottom of the depth chart throughout the season, playing behind Hooker, Joe Milton, Tayven Jackson and Gaston Moore.
Shuler appeared just once for Tennessee all season, and it came in the season-opener against Ball State. Shuler did not attempt a pass and was sacked on his only drop back for -18 yards.
LB Jackson Hannah
Hannah transferred to UT from Nebraska with four years of eligibility remaining. Despite joining one of Tennessee’s more shallow position groups, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder did not see much playing time. The former Husker played in just one game.
Final Stats: 1 appearance (Akron), 1 tackle (solo)
More From RTI: How Tennessee’s Outgoing Transfers Fared in 2022
TE Charlie Browder
Recruited by Josh Heupel and Alex Golesh but never coached by them, Charlie Browder left UCF after his freshman season and came to Rocky Top.
Browder didn’t see much time in his first season as a Vol, as starters Princeton Fant and Jacob Warren dominated TE snaps, with Hunter Salmon serving as the top backup.
Browder saw action in UT’s season-opener against Ball State but did not log a snap.
WR Bru McCoy
McCoy was the most notable of Tennessee’s incoming transfers in 2022. The former Trojan missed just one game (Vanderbilt) and was one of Hendon Hooker/Joe Milton’s top options in 2022. McCoy showed he has some of the best hands in the SEC this past season, and that his physicality is not to be underestimated.
McCoy’s best moment came against Alabama, when he secured a 27-yard catch in traffic from Hendon Hooker late in the fourth quarter to set up Chase McGrath’s 40-yard game-winning field goal to beat the Tide, 52-49.
The California native earned a 66.6 season PFF grade–fourth among UT WRs–across 790 plays.
Final Stats: 52 catches, 667 yards, 4 TD (long-70), 3 100-yard games, 1 rush, 3 yards
The upcoming fifth-year senior has also made it official he is coming back to Tennessee for one more season.
DB Wesley Walker
Walker was one of two incoming DB transfers for the 2022 season. He graded out as Tennessee’s highest defender for the season and saw plenty of meaningful snaps across all 13 games this past season.
Final Stats: 36 tackles (23 solo), 5.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 1 QBH
DB Andre Turrentine
The former Buckeye did not see near as much playing time as his transfer counterpart Wesley Walker, as Turrentine played in more of a true backup safety role. Turrentine recorded a stat in five games this past season.
Final Stats: 11 tackles (7 solo)
Turrentine made one of his solo tackles on the final play against Missouri and logged one assisted tackle against Kentucky. Turrentine’s first tackle of his collegiate career came in UT’s season-opener against Ball State.
Turrentine is entering his redshirt sophomore season and has potential to carve out a bigger role with the Vols moving forward.
*NOTE* Lyn-J Dixon transferred to Tennessee from West Virginia in the offseason, but he was not on the team to begin the season after leaving the program.
So far this offseason, the Vols have added eight transfers via the portal in the first window, already topping their 2022 total.