Late on Friday night, Tennessee officially got some news that had been going through the rumor mill. Linebacker Martavius French will in fact enter the transfer portal, following an indefinite suspension in March.
French was one of four players arrested on a drug charge on campus. Isaac Washington, a freshman defensive lineman who was also involved, entered the transfer portal earlier this week. Freshman quarterback Kaidon Salter and freshman linebacker Aaron Willis were also involved, but remain with the program.
It’s a tough break for the Tennessee defense, which certainly could have used French this spring and beyond. With several spots ahead of him coming open at linebacker, French was likely in line to push for playing time this fall as a sophomore.
French was a part of the ‘Whitehaven Trio,’ committing to Tennessee in the class of 2020. Teammates Bryson Eason and Tamarion McDonald joined French, giving the Volunteers a major pull in the class. Now, linebacker is back to being a massive need, following the departure of Quavaris Crouch and Henry To’o To’o. Aaron Beasley has also been suspended, and most don’t expect him to return to the program. That leaves a major depth issue for defensive coordinator Tim Banks, which was on full display during the spring game.
Tennessee has been heavily linked to Texas transfer Juwan Mitchell this week, and that situation continues to be one we’ll monitor closely.