You never have enough depth on your offensive line. As a result, on principle, Tennessee football took a hit with offensive lineman William Parker entering the transfer portal. Matt Zenitz of ON3 reported the news Thursday.
Parker was one of the most highly touted prospects in the Vols’ 2021 class and initially seen as a guy Josh Heupel could build the program around while he tried to restore Rocky Top. He never worked his way into the rotation.
Although he seemed like he would have been in competition for a spot at tackle after Cade Mays left, he never emerged past Darnell Wright or Gerald Mincey. That was the firs major sign.
The other major sign is the number of talented offensive lineman Tennessee football is adding. Sure, Wright is leaving, but the Vols are adding Texas Longhorns transfer Andrej Karic.
Meanwhile, Tennessee football added four offensive linemen in this class. Two early enrollees are included among that group, as is junior college transfer Larry Johnson III.
Most likely, the play of of Vysen Lang and Shamurad Umarov, the two early enrollees, are the reason for Parker’s transfer. Those are the players who would’ve shown enough the past two months to make a difference.
However, adding a JuCo transfer and a transfer from another Power Five school had to make a difference. Simply put, the newcomers for the Vols are likely the reason for the transfer.
That’s not to say Parker doesn’t have potential elsewhere. Remember, he committed to Jeremy Pruitt in the first place. Perhaps he’s more meant for a pro-style offense like what Jim Chaney ran at UT.
What’s clear, though, is the success Tennessee football had with its linemen this year and the incoming players targeted specifically by Josh Heupel was going to make a difference. They are a likely a better fit for this system, so that made an impact here.