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Tennessee Safety Enters The Transfer Portal

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee safety Wesley Walker entered the transfer portal on Friday morning after spending two seasons in Knoxville, On3’s Pete Nakos first reported.

Walker played the first three seasons of his collegiate career at Georgia Tech before transferring to Tennessee ahead of the 2022 season. The 6-foot-1 safety played in all 13 games during the Vols’ 2022 season while earning two starts.

The Lewisburg, Tennessee native became a full-time starter during the 2023 season and totaled 53 tackles, two pass deflections, one sack and one forced fumble in 10 games. Walker missed the final two games of the season due to injury.

In his Tennessee career, Walker totaled 89 tackles, two sacks, an interception and six pass deflections. The veteran starter earned a 70.6 PFF grade in 636 plays during his redshirt senior season, a mark that ranked second amongst Vol safeties.

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Walker’s departure continues a mass exodus in Tennessee’s defensive backfield this offseason. The starting safety becomes the Vols’ seventh defensive back to enter the transfer portal though Walker is just the second defensive back starter to enter the portal.

Tamarion McDonald started for Tennessee at STAR during the 2023 season before transferring and landing at Ole Miss. Doneiko Slaughter was a backup corner who started four games once Kamal Hadden suffered his season ending injury before entering the portal and landing at Arkansas.

But besides McDonald, Slaughter and Walker, Tennessee’s defensive back transfers were fringe rotational players at best.

The Vols return safeties Andre Turrentine (250 plays) and Jourdan Thomas (176 plays) from their 2023 roster but lose the vast majority of their snaps with Walker entering the portal and Jaylen McCollough out of eligibility.

Tennessee’s already added MTSU safety transfer Jakobe Thomas this offseason but the Vols will likely look to add at least one more body to their safety room.

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