The Tennessee football program has been gutted by an offseason NCAA investigation and subsequent coaching turnover. As a result, top talent such as Eric Gray, Henry To’o To’o, Key Lawrence, Wanya Morris and several others have departed for new horizons.
Most recently, former Vol defensive lineman Darel Middleton, who had 12 games of starting experience in his first two seasons in Knoxville, entered the transfer portal. And we now know where the former junior college player will finish up his career.
On Wednesday night, Middleton announced he will be transferring to West Virginia, where he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound defender made that announcement via his Twitter account:
After a couple of weeks of thinking and talking things over with family, friends, and mentors that love me and will always be in my corner. I’m finally getting out my own way & just putting my future in god hands & going 1k MPH with my head held high. #KeepGoing #TrustTheClimb🏔 pic.twitter.com/I8KVtm0VZ1
— Darel E. Middleton (@Darel__) July 22, 2021
This offseason has been absolutely brutal for Tennessee.
We know it’s going to take awhile before they’re competitive in the SEC East again. However, there’s still some talent left on the depth chart, and Josh Heupel and the rest of the new staff are going to do everything they can to make the most of it.
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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.