The Tennessee Volunteers have made another off-season move to fortify the trenches on the defensive side of the ball, as they add former Kansas defensive lineman Da’Jon Terry to the roster.
Terry, a 6′ 4″ 320-pound Mississippi native, played at Kansas for two seasons. In 2019, the former three-star recruit only played in two games and recorded two tackles. In 2020 though, Terry had a breakout season, accounting for 11 solo tackles and three assists. He also had two sacks on the year, which was noticed by his teammates and coaches at Kansas.
— Da'Jon Terry (@DaJonTerry1) May 10, 2021
“I feel like Da’Jon is one of the fastest learners on the team,” said Marcus Harris, a defensive end for the Jayhawks, according to 247Sports. “He grasps all the information they throw at him. He applies that to the field. He makes it easier for me, taking on double teams and stuff like that. He makes it easier for the defensive ends. I feel like he’s going to be something special.”
This is another huge addition to the defense for coordinator Tim Banks. One of the clearest storylines from spring practice was Tennessee’s lack of depth heading into the summer portion of the off-season.
But since the Orange and White game on Apr. 24, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel has made a huge splash in the transfer portal. Former Texas linebacker Juwan Mitchell and former USC defensive lineman Caleb Tremblay have already announced their intentions to transfer to Tennessee. This will likely give the Vols three new potential starters next year via the transfer portal alone.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Joe Milton and wide receiver JaVonta Payton also have transferred to Tennessee this off-season, from Michigan and Mississippi State respectively.
In addition to his teammates, Terry also received praise from the Kansas coaching staff for his development and character last season.
“We’ve seen huge growth, and we think he’s got a very bright future,” said Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot according to 247Sports. “I think his career here is going to be very good. He’s improved tremendously from last year to this year. Every week he gets better. He’s a guy that’s a 300-pounder that can move and he’s physical. I think you’re going to see some great things from him, not only this year but in the future.”
Tennessee will need that speed and physicality next season. After spring practice ended, it was evident that the defense was a bigger concern moving forward than the offense. But the brand new Tennessee coaching staff is doing their best to get this team ready for the season. Adding experienced talent is one of the best ways to do so.
With Mitchell in the center of the field, and Tremblay and Terry adding in help to the defensive line, Tennessee’s defensive unit already looks completely different than it did in the spring game alone. And it will look even more different as injuries start to heal. But while it looks different, the bigger intrigue is if it will perform better. That’s the million-dollar question.
As far as things look now though, the Vols defense is quickly trending upwards. Terry is a celebrated addition to the Tennessee defensive roster as coach Heupel continues to build this Tennessee team as quickly as he can.
Stay tuned to Fox Sports Knoxville for all the latest Tennessee football off-season news.