Jimmy’s blog: Tennessee eyes transfer from Mississippi State


By Jimmy Hyams

Tennessee is in the hunt for Mississippi State transfer Fabian Lovett.

In the past couple of years, the Vols have taken transfers Deangelo Gibbs from Georgia, Aubrey Solomon from Michigan, Keller Chryst from Stanford and Madre London of Michigan State, among others.

Accepting transfers can be a bit risky. Do they fit your culture? Do they fit your scheme? Do they provide enough value to use a valuable scholarship?

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t mind perusing the transfer portal for potential prospects, but he also wants to do his homework before making the investment.

“Most of the time if you’re going to take a transfer,’’ Pruitt said, “there’s probably a previous relationship, an opportunity where you know circumstances, and you’re not just depending on one or two years at another place.

“You want to take big-picture approach because you know the background in high school, just so you can gather as much information as you can.’’

Pruitt said it’s like recruiting a prospect. You evaluate tape but you also evaluate character. You talk to the recruit’s coach, his teacher, the janitor, the lunch lady.

“It’s hard to predict the future,’’ Pruitt said, “but the more information you have, most of time (the person will) not change a whole lot from what they’ve done in the past.’’

Tennessee offered Lovett two years ago. He was rated the No. 4 player in the state of Mississippi.

Lovett announced his transfer just days after new Mississippi State coach Mike Leach tweeted a meme of a woman knitting a noose for her husband who was quarantined.

Leach apologized and deleted the tweet.

Mississippi State officials said Leach needs an education on Mississippi culture.

Regarding transfers Pruitt has taken at Tennessee, Chryst played eight games without a start and had only a few bright moments.

Solomon started last season and shows flashes of being a solid player.

Gibbs was moved from defensive back to receiver and had to sit out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. He hopes to be in the rotation – if not start – this fall.

London played sparingly.

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