The Tennessee Vols missed on one of their top transfer portal options on Friday when Albany defensive end Jared Verse announced his commitment to Florida State.
Verse is ranked in 247Sports’ transfer rankings as the No. 2 overall defender in the portal this offseason (behind defensive back Eli Ricks, who transferred from LSU to Alabama).
The talented defensive lineman told 247Sports that it felt like he was “supposed to be there” of his commitment to Florida State.
“I could say the coaches, the players the facilities, but it was more when I stepped on campus having a mixture of all of those things around me,” said Verse (via 247Sports). “It felt like I was supposed to be there.”
Every player in the transfer portal has a different situation. And there are several factors that went into Verse’s decision.
However, there’s one NCAA rule that is actively hampering the Vols’ efforts to land players in the transfer portal right now (and it could’ve impacted Verse’s decision).
The NCAA is currently in a dead period when it comes to recruiting, meaning players can’t visit programs, have in-home visits with coaches, etc.
But there’s a caveat to that rule.
Players in the transfer portal that are going to enroll at a program for the spring semester are allowed to take an official visit to a school IF that school starts their spring classes within a week of that visit.
A lot of programs started classes this past week or they’re starting next week. Tennessee’s classes, however, don’t start until January 24.
The recruiting dead period ends January 13, meaning this rule only helps the programs with classes starting this past week or next week.
This rule has absolutely hurt Tennessee while helping some of the programs the Vols are battling for transfer players.
A player like Verse had to make a quick decision because of the add/drop date for classes at Florida State (which is on Monday, January 10).
Other players making similar decisions can’t visit Tennessee right now until the add/drop date at certain programs passes. That puts the Vols in a tough position.
The transfer portal is an ever-evolving facet of college football that needs some major rule adjustments (maybe a transfer portal signing period?). Hopefully, we’ll see the playing field leveled over the next year.
Josh Heupel and his staff can still land players in the transfer portal — and I’m sure they will — they just have some extra work to do.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK