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Former Tennessee Defensive Back Key Lawrence Mixed Up With Portal Reports

Key Lawrence
Former Tennessee DB Key Lawrence. Photo via Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

There’s no way the first day of the college football transfer portal re-opening up wasn’t going to have some sort of bug in the gears. And, sure enough, it didn’t take long.

The controversy on Tuesday morning revolved around former Tennessee defensive back and Volunteer State native Key Lawrence.

Lawrence started his career at Tennessee for one season and then moved to Oklahoma, where he has been for the last three seasons. The 6-foot-1 defensive back played in all 12 regular season games for the Sooners last season and started half of Oklahoma’s games. Lawrence hit the transfer portal following the 2023 season and wound up with Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels.

Lawrence was on the unfortunate end of some transfer portal reporting on Tuesday, which caused some confusion among those covering and tuned into the sport.

While Key Lawrence was tagged as a transfer portal player on Tuesday and even ended up in 247 Sports’ transfer portal database, the Tennessee native is NOT leaving the Ole Miss program. Instead, it is Ole Miss walk-on linebacker Keyshawn Lawrence who actually hit the portal on Tuesday morning.

Key Lawrence looks to be laughing everything off, though, as he took to X on Tuesday morning to share his reaction. Lawrence’s coach, Lane Kiffin, also shared in the laughter.

More from RTI: Tennessee Linebacker Entering Transfer Portal Following Spring Camp

As a four-star prospect from Ensworth High School in Nashville in the class of 2020, Lawrence was the top-ranked prospect in the state of Tennessee. Lawrence went to Rocky Top for one season but hit the transfer portal just four days after Jeremy Pruitt was fired and five days before Josh Heupel was brought on as the next head coach of the Volunteers.

Lawrence played in all 10 of Tennessee’s shortened COVID-season games in 2020 as a reserve safety and a special teams contributor, recording eight total tackles and one pass breakup.

The former Vol transferred to Oklahoma and tallied 149 total tackles over three years, playing in 36 games for the Sooners with 14 starts over his three seasons there.

While the mixed-up reports have been confusing on Tuesday, Lawrence looks to be settling in nicely at Ole Miss.

“Somebody that’s hungry, dedicated, and energetic,” Lawrence said of his playstyle during a spring camp press conference, according to Inside the Rebels’ Tyler Komis. “I try to be everywhere, I try to flash on film. I just try to get the crowd involved to make it (as) entertaining as I can and just try to be there for my teammates. Being the best teammate I can – that’s what’s coming into this season.”

Lawrence also cited wanting to get back to the SEC and being closer to home as two of the main reasons why he switched from Oklahoma to Ole Miss over the offseason.

The transfer portal officially re-opened for a spring session on Tuesday morning, with most teams either done with or wrapping up spring camp. Tennessee has seen one player enter the portal following spring camp when junior linebacker Elijah Herring announced his decision to enter on Monday night.

Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for the latest Tennessee-related news from the transfer portal this week.

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