On Monday, a federal holiday honoring one of our country’s greatest, the Tennessee Volunteers found it prudent to terminate their head football coach, Jeremy Pruitt. The former high school coach who will forever live in infamy for not knowing what asparagus is finished his career in Knoxville with a 16-19 overall record and an even worse 10-16 conference record in just three seasons.
Now, who gives a shit what the Vols do to replace him, what’s in it for Ole Miss, right?
Tennessee has several current players, recruits, and signees that would be excellent additions to Lane Kiffin’s roster in Oxford. Let’s take a look:
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unaware if Ole Miss is looking to poach anyone from Tennessee or looking to flip any of their 2021 commits/signees, this is just some wishful thinking.
Transfer Portal options
Malachi Wideman, WR
The four-star receiver from Venice, Fla. spurned the Rebels and Kiffin on early signing day in 2019, choosing the Vols. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder played in six games in 2020, making just one catch for 24 yards. Ole Miss is graduating one of the greatest receivers in school history and are looking for someone to step up alongside Dontario Drummond and Braylon Sanders.
He played a little basketball in high school, too.
FLORIDA BOY FLIGHT ✈️— SLAM (@SLAMonline) July 27, 2018
Malachi Wideman just threw it DOWN in front of Dwyane and LeBron in Vegas‼️ @SLAM_HS pic.twitter.com/MEal65M8Ln
Omari Thomas, DT
The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder played in 10 games as a freshman, finishing the year with 10 tackles and one tackle for loss. The Memphis, Tenn. native chose Tennessee back in 2020 over the Rebels and he could be looking for a new place to be a student-athlete now that the entire staff is possibly out.
Four-star #Vols DL signee Omari Thomas (@901_sxvxge) bounces back with a couple of nice reps against three-star #Purdue OL signee Gus Hartwig. pic.twitter.com/MI6xydBN3L— Ryan Callahan (@RyanCallahan247) January 1, 2020
The former Rivals150 defensive lineman was coached by Jimmy Brumbaugh, the former Tennessee defensive line coach, who is now potentially being courted by, you guessed it, Ole Miss.
Bryson Eason, ILB
Another Memphis native, Eason played in just six games primarily on special teams. The former Whitehaven High School standout was heavily recruited by the Rebels in 2020, but ultimately chose to join Pruitt’s circus in East Tennessee.
Bryson Eason is listed at 6’2 270lbs... yes 270. And can fly for a guy of his size. Can make huge plays and dominate run games. pic.twitter.com/upQGiuO311— EverythingTNsports (@NsportsT) January 21, 2020
Sure, Ole Miss is bringing back Lakia Henry, Jacquez Jones, and Mohamed Sanogo, but the former four-star prospect would most likely play right away and might start if he chose to leave for Oxford. 6-foot-2, 255-pounds isn’t something that is found in the locker room at Ole Miss so I don’t think you’d hear much resistant from Kiffin.
Martavius French, ILB
Another height-weight combo that is nary a mention at Ole Miss is 6-foot-2, 240-pounds. That is Mr. French. The second former Whitehaven standout on this list also picked the Vols over the Rebels in last year’s cycle. He didn’t play in 2020, but you can bet your ass he’d play in Oxford.
Make no sense— Martavius French (@ypcfrenchie) January 18, 2021
As a senior in 2019, the former four-star was part of a defense that allowed just 5.4 points per game and produced seven shutouts.
Tamarion McDonald, DB
The third Whitehaven alum on this list is yet another who spurned the Rebels in the 2020 class. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defensive back played in seven games this past season, making 11 tackles and one pass breakup. He missed the first month of the season due to rehabbing after shoulder surgery, but he still managed to find some playing time.
NEXT LEVEL: Tamarion McDonald— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 18, 2019
• Man Coverage
• Pass Rush#NSD20 / #2THET0P / #PoweredByTheTpic.twitter.com/zndKT2Owcf
The secondary was a weak link for the Rebels this past season and McDonald would easily factor in alongside returning names like Otis Reese and AJ Finley.
2021 flip candidates
Dylan Brooks, SDE
The 2021 signee posted a tweet of displeasure before quickly deleting it once the news broke on Monday. The Alabama native chose the Vols over a host of Power 5 offers, including the Rebels. Brumbaugh, if hired by Kiffin, could potentially factor in here for the Rivals100 prospect.
The Polynesian Bowl selection and Under Armour All-American stands 6-foot-5 and 255-pounds and would bring another physical presence to the front seven that is lacking and then some at Ole Miss, a team that struggled all year to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
“And he can caaaatch.”
#Vols commit Dylan Brooks had a great game last night to help Handley get the win over Cherokee County. It included this touchdown catch, a 2-pt conversion catch, an interception, a fumble recovery, and disruption all night in the backfield.— More Important Issues (@More_Issues) October 9, 2020
: @VR2onSI pic.twitter.com/3ojqco0Hw3
KaTron Evans, DT
What’s that you say? More front seven help? Yes, please.
KaTron Evans is definitely a Big 33 "Play Maker." Check out this highlight!— Great American Rivalry Series (@AmericanRivalry) November 15, 2020
Vote for @ColtBoyKayy to help him get a 500 scholarship from us‼️
Vote here ➡️ https://t.co/qSgsJPxgXs pic.twitter.com/3ZXZ6nlzPX
Evans is a Baltimore, Md. native and former high school teammate of current Rebel, Demon Clowney. The Rivals150 prospect was recruited by the new staff before signing with Tennessee over the Rebs and a host of big-time offers. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound interior defender would pair nicely with instant impact dudes like Isaiah Iton and Jamond Gordon, wouldn’t you say?
Aaron Willis, ILB
[holds out plate]
Simply put, the Chester, Va. native is a bad motherfucker.
Four-star 2021 LB Aaron Willis (@44crzy) lays the wood! pic.twitter.com/J2mI7baImb— "EJ Holland" (@EJHolland_TW) September 15, 2019
Willis played at St. Frances with Clowney and Evans at St. Frances before transferring to Life Christian Academy in Virginia and would bring immediate pop to DJ Durkin’s position group. The Under Armour All-American has a legitimate NFL skill set.
Roc Taylor, TE
The four-star pass-catcher from Oxford, Ala. has yet to sign and could potentially be up for grabs if he decides to decommit. The Rebels are in dire need of help at the position now that Kenny Yeboah’s one-year tour at Ole Miss is over and Casey Kelly suffered an off-season injury that will almost certainly sideline him until June or July.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end plays like a receiver, hauling in 52 receptions for 1,017 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior. He would absolutely do damage in Kiffin and Jeff Lebby’s tight end friendly offense alongside fellow four-star and Ole Miss signee, Hudson Wolfe.
6’4” 202 lbs #CO21 Oxford High (AL) Roc Taylor @Roc2shot is one of the best prospects in the COUNTRY! Big, Fast, great hands and is so EXPLOSIVE!! 5⭐️ NO DOUBT!#Power5 #gamechangerrs pic.twitter.com/JVXYLV9Erc— Adam Turner (@AdamT_16) September 24, 2019