When news came out that Tennessee football offensive lineman William Parker entered the transfer portal Tuesday, we wrote about the potential depth of incoming offensive lineman causing it. Well, now a second OL is entering.
Eric Cain of ON3 reported Wednesday morning that offensive lineman RJ Perry has also entered the transfer portal. Does that all of a sudden make this a concern?
Honestly, no. Perry is a unique story for Tennessee football anyway. He committed to the Vols’ 2020 class as an edge rusher and then took a redshirt that season converting to offensive line.
It’s odd enough that an end and not a tackle converts to the offensive line, but what’s crazier is Perry put on the necessary size. He got to 6’6″ 325 pounds, and in 2021, he appeared in seven games. He appeared in six this year.
Beyond the questions about his potential as a convert, Perry was third on the depth chart at a spot where there won’t be any attrition next year. He was behind Gerald Mincey and Jeremiah Crawford at left tackle.
Crawford is leaving, but Mincey is the future at the position for the Vols, so it’s not like Perry was going to have the chance to start barring an injury. Then, similar to Parker, there’s a new crop of linemen coming in.
Texas Longhorns transfer Andrej Karic likely ices out a chance for Perry to move over to the right side. Vysen Lang and Shamurad Umarov seem to have made an impact as early enrollees too.
Add in the fact that Dayne Davis is still there along with a collection of younger linemen who are likely to emerge this offseason, and it makes sense that multiple linemen would enter the portal. Perry is among them.
As of right now, the biggest question for Tennessee football with Parker and Perry gone is who backs up Mincey at left tackle next year. Josh Heupel and Glen Elarbee should be able to figure that out relatively easy, though.