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Tennessee Defensive Starter Enters The Transfer Portal

Tennessee Football
Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee defensive back Tamarion McDonald entered the transfer portal on Monday afternoon after spending four-years in Knoxville, 247sports’ Matt Zenitz first reported on Monday afternoon.

McDonald was a two-year starter at STAR— also known as nickel back— for Tennessee and was one of the more reliable pieces in the Vols’ defensive backfield the last two years.

The Memphis, Tennessee native started 10 games for the Vols this season before suffering an injury against Missouri which sidelined him for the final two regular season games against Georgia and Vanderbilt.

McDonald played 486 snaps over the course of the 2023 season, earning a 76.3 PFF grade. The senior totaled 40 tackles, one sack, one interception and four pass deflections over the course of his senior season. The two-year starter totaled 55 tackles and two interceptions over the course of the 2022 season— McDonald’s first as a starter.

More From RTI: De’Shawn Rucker Enters The Transfer Portal

The veteran defensive back has one year of eligibility remaining thanks to the NCAA COVID-19 eligibility relief.

McDonald is just the latest Tennessee defensive back to enter the transfer portal this offseason. The veteran starter joins defensive backs Doneiko Slaughter, Brandon Turnage, Doneiko Slaughter, Warren Burrell, De’Shawn Rucker and Jack Luttrell as Volunteer players that have entered the transfer portal this offseason.

The Vols will be able to add more bodies to their defensive back room over the offseason but will be thin for their Citrus Bowl matchup against Iowa. Fortunately for Tennessee, the Hawkeyes boast one of the nation’s worst passing attacks.

McDonald becomes the 10th Tennessee football player to enter the transfer portal this offseason. Keep up with all the Vols’ outgoing transfers with the RTI Transfer Portal tracker here.

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