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Tennessee football: What Tayven Jackson entering transfer portal means for Vols’ QB room

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The quarterback competition for Tennessee football got a little less crowded on Friday. 

Tayven Jackson reportedly entered the transfer portal. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback spent 2022 behind starter Hendon Hooker and backup Joe Milton III on the depth chart. 

Only appearing in three games in 2022, Jackson was redshirted. He has four years of eligibility left. During his three appearances, Jackson went 3-of-4 with 37 yards. He also ran for 10 yards and a touchdown on four carries. 

During one of his appearances against UT Martin, he suffered a shoulder injury and was forced to undergo surgery. 

Jackson came into Tennessee football as a four-star prospect in the class of 2022. During his time at Center Grove High School in Indiana, Jackson passed for 1,813 passing yards and 47 touchdowns. He was ranked as the No. 198 prospect nationally out of high school. 

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Jackson never took a visit to Tennessee during his recruitment.

The transfer portal opened on December 5th and remains open until January 18th. Although players don’t have to choose their destination before the 18th, they must have enetered the portal before the deadline.

Although not common, Jackson could still return to Tennessee football if he chooses.

It is worth noting that Jackson’s brother, Trayce Jackson-Davis, is a star forward for Indiana. 

With five-star prospect Nico Iamaleava on campus and Milton returning for his final season, Jackson was put in a tough position. The rise of the transfer portal makes keeping talented backups is virtually impossible. 

New offensive coordinator Joey Halzle and head coach Josh Heupel have both said that the quarterback position is open for competition going into the 2023 season. 

Iamaleava ran Tennessee’s scout offense during practices preparing for the Orange Bowl. Since he has arrived on campus, the five-star prospect is making his impact felt. 

With Jackson on the way out, Milton seems to be a shoo-in for the starting job. Likely, this sets up Iamaleava to take over as the Vols’ signal caller during his second season.

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