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REPORT: Former Tennessee Linebacker Visiting Deion Sanders, Colorado Program

Elijah Herring
Tennessee linebacker Elijah Herring (#44). Photo via Tennessee Athletics

According to a report from On3 Sports’ Steve Wiltfong on Thursday, former Tennessee linebacker Elijah Herring is visiting Deion Sanders’ Colorado program on Friday as he continues to search for a new home out of the portal.

In a conversation with Wiltfong, Herring also revealed that he has heard from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Miami, Florida State, Central Florida, and Maryland. Herring also said that his interest in Miami has declined since hearing of the Hurricanes’ progress in bringing in “another backer.”

Herring spent his first two seasons at Tennessee and was thrust into a starting role following a season-ending injury to Vols linebacker Keenan Pili in the first game against Virginia. Herring would go on to play in all of Tennessee’s games after that, becoming the leading tackler on the team with 76 total tackles.

Herring recorded six or more total tackles in seven of the Vols’ 13 games this season and found his one sack this season during the bowl game against Iowa. Herring was a reserve linebacker and a special teams player during his freshman year, leading to 11 tackles during the 2022 season.

I’d like to thank Coach Heupel & the University of Tennessee for the opportunity to play in my home state,” Herring posted to X after entering the portal on Monday night. “I appreciate all the support from the entire staff, my teammates, & fans. I have decided to enter the transfer portal & pursue other college opportunities. Love The Vols!”

More from RTI: Where Tennessee Football’s Linebacker Room Stands After Portal Departure

Herring, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, was out of spring camp for the Vols while recovering from injury. Herring’s absence on the practice field opened up reps for Keenan Pili as he returned from injury, Jeremiah Telander as he prepares for his sophomore season, Kalib Perry in preparation for his junior season, and freshman standout Edwin Spillman. Tennessee also has rising sophomore linebacker Arion Carter in the mix, though he was also out for spring camp due to injury.

As a three-star prospect on the recruiting trail, Herring played his high school ball at Riverdale in Murfreesboro, TN, and was Tennessee’s first commit in the 2022 class. Elijah’s brother, Caleb Herring, is a rising sophomore EDGE rusher who is still with Tennessee moving forward.

While Tennessee has not acquired anyone out of the portal through the first three days of it being open for the spring session, Vols head coach Josh Heupel did address portal conversations during his postgame press conference following Tennessee’s spring game last weekend in Knoxville.

“Yeah, end of the day, you’re trying to make your roster as good as it can be,” Heupel said. “We’ll go through that process, have exit meetings with our own players. I think the culture piece is extremely important in particular at this time of the year ’cause there’s not a lot of time with them before you get to training camp. So it’s gotta be mature guys that you’re bringing into your program, too.”

Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for more on Tennessee football and the college football transfer portal.

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