Several Tennessee Vols football players hit the transfer portal on Thursday.

A couple of the moves weren’t surprising. Backup long snapper Will Albright and seldom-used running back Dee Beckwith were somewhat expected to hit the portal.

Beckwith, a former three-star recruit from Alabama, never found a role at Tennessee under Josh Heupel or previous head coach Jeremy Pruitt. He has great size and athleticism, but he just wasn’t able to put it all together on the field.

Edge rusher Tyler Baron also hit the portal on Thursday. This is the one that’s a bit surprising.

There had been rumblings over the last month that Baron was considering transferring. But over the last couple of weeks, it felt like he was going to stay at Tennessee.

Apparently, he changed his mind.

It’s worth noting that Baron’s dad, Patrick Abernathy, was let go as UT’s director of player personnel recently. That likely influenced Baron’s decision to leave.

Baron is a former four-star recruit who signed with the Vols during the 2020 recruiting cycle. He had four sacks in 12 games this season for Tennessee.

Update:

According to Outkick.com’s Trey Wallace, Tennessee is officially saying that Abernathy “resigned” from his position as the Vols’ director of player personnel.

Featured image via Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK