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Tennessee Football DE Chandavian Bradley transfers: Vols should expect to lose some edge rushers

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In this era of college football, you can expect to lose players at every position to the transfer portal. However, if you are deep at a spot, as Tennessee Football is at edge rusher, then you can expect certain elite players to leave the program and not always hit the portal.

That’s exactly what the Vols faced Wednesday as former blue-chip defensive end Chandavian Bradley transferred to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Parker Thune of Rivals tweeted out the transfer, and Bradley followed it up with a retweet thanking UT while also insisting in this tweet that it wasn’t about his grades.

At 6’5″ 221 pounds, Bradley was a unanimous four-star in the 2023 Tennessee Football recruiting class. However, he didn’t play at all last year. This year, James Pearce Jr. and Joshua Josephs are expected to be the stars on the ends, and Bradley still has to compete with Emmanuel Okoye, Caleb Herring and Daevin Hobbs.

Meanwhile, the Vols have five edge rushers coming in this year, most notably blue-chip Jordan Ross, and they have three blue-chips committed for 2025. Simply put, Rodney Garner, Josh Heupel and Tim Banks have stacked up that position, making it nearly impossible for them to fail.

Taking all of this into account, Tennessee Football would face a wave of transfers at the position even in the era before the portal. There is just too much talent, and those guys all have a chance to make a huge impact on some team at this level. As a result, fans should expect to lose some players.

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You may ask why Bradley would make the move now and not at the end of December or spring practice. There will be tons of speculation, but it’s worth noting two of the Vols’ 2025 elite edge rusher commitments made their decisions in June.

Bradley may have made the calculation that it was worth the move to star in junior college for a year and then command a ton of NIL money on the open market next year. That’s not a confirmation, but it’s a possibility. He won’t be the first Tennessee Football defensive end to leave, though.

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