KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Tennessee’s new coach appears likely to face the challenge of replacing the Vols’ best player on offense in 2021. Running back Eric Gray, who led the Vols in rushing and ranked among the SEC leaders in yards from scrimmage as a sophomore in 2020, officially entered the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday, sources told GoVols247. Gray’s potential departure comes in the wake of the Vols firing head coach Jeremy Pruitt on Monday amid an investigation into alleged NCAA violations.
Losing Gray would leave the Vols with a large void to fill in their backfield with Ty Chandler, who was a senior in 2020, transferring to North Carolina earlier this month. Gray and Chandler were Tennessee's top two leading rushers in each of the past two seasons, combining for 1,194 yards in 2019 and 1,228 in 2020. After the offseason dismissal of Tim Jordan, the primary backups to Gray and Chandler this past season were freshmen.