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Tennessee Vols could benefit from Bama OL despite immediate SEC eligibility

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Georgia can take Jaden Rashada. I’ll take James Brockermeyer. No, I’m serious.

Let the Bulldogs have one of the highest rated prospects in the transfer portal; I’ll take my chances with the interior offensive lineman. Why? Because I may never get a good snap out of Rashada. I’m almost guaranteed to get multiple seasons as a starter from Brockermeyer.

Brockermeyer has already played college football, logging snaps in 2022 and 2023 after redshirting in 2021. Brockermeyer is a physically developed lineman that can be leaned on for years, first by highly touted quarterback Nico Iamaleava then whomever comes next – if Brockermeyer were to decide Knoxville was the best place for his services.

The Vols have a fantastic center in place this season with Cooper Mays at the helm, which is fine because Brockermeyer wouldn’t be eligible this season per SEC rules about spring transfers. No problem. Let him make the transition this season and be ready to start in 2025 because the early reports on Vysen Lang at center have been, well, a bit iffy.

Brockermeyer is the kind of transfer that shows Tennessee has a longterm plan in place. The Vols aren’t just loading up for one season. While Rashada backs up starting Georgia quarterback Carson Beck this fall, the Vols can be planting the anchor of their future offensive line.

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Meanwhile, Georgia will be determining their quarterback of the future with Rashada and redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton on the roster. Rashada was limited last season at Arizona State with a knee injury. He threw for 485 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Stockton? Well, Georgia coach Kirby Smart can’t feel great about him if the door was wide open for Rashada.

You probably remember Rashada. He was the highly rated quarterback who showed up at Florida when the Gators had the NIL chomp of a lizard with misplaced dentures. Rashada up and left when the money wasn’t there, ended up at Arizona State and is now at Georgia. This is reason enough that there shouldn’t be a restriction on spring transfers by the SEC, which doesn’t want players to be able to play immediately at a fellow member school.

Brockermeyer’s college path is much more simple. He chose a solid school with a legend for a coach, who just happened to retire. Brockermeyer stuck it out for the new coach during spring camp, but since he doesn’t feel it’s a good fit, it’s time to stop wasting everyone’s time. He’s out. The problem is: The SEC isn’t as accommodating. He’ll have to sit out a year. I say, no matter. Make the decision based on long-term success, not some playing time in the short term.

The SEC won’t let Brockermeyer transfer and play immediately, but he seems like the kind of player that is smart enough to understand that another year of seasoning can only help his development and make him a top prospect in the years to come. The upcoming 2024 football cycle is a bit early for his development.

At Tennessee, or a number of SEC schools, Brockermeyer could back up a young and inexperienced backup center, like Lang, and be groomed to be a team’s next center, provide depth at the position or just be another interior offensive lineman that can take up some practice snaps until next season. The timing may not be perfect, but it’s the best the SEC will allow.

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