Ole Miss Takes Talented Tennessee Two From the Transfer Portal

    Lane Kiffin continues to build a defensive juggernaut at Ole Miss as the Rebels take two talented Tennessee Volunteers from the transfer portal.

    Lane Kiffin continues to build a defensive juggernaut during the college football transfer window following the conclusion of the 2023 CFB season. On Saturday, the Ole Miss Rebels took two talented Tennessee Volunteers from the portal, landing safety Tamarion McDonald and edge rusher Tyler Baron.

    Ole Miss Takes Talented Tennessee Two From the Transfer Portal

    Baron and McDonald bolster an Ole Miss defense that gets better by the day. The talented Tennessee two-some were highly regarded and much sought-after but will head to Oxford for the 2024 college football season after making announcements of their commitment to the Rebels within an hour of one another.

    Baron is a major get for Pete Golding’s Ole Miss defense. The program has a stellar recent history of extracting production out of transferring edge rushers, and the Tennessee transfer joins the program with plenty of career output already.

    The senior edge is coming off the most productive season of his career, logging 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. During his four years on Rocky Top, Baron has tallied 27.0 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

    The 6’5″, 260-pound defensive standout gives Ole Miss an explosive, bendy edge presence who gets into the backfield with devastating speed.

    Baron was courted by multiple SEC programs including Georgia, Alabama, and the incoming Texas Longhorns. However, Ole Miss is quickly becoming the transfer portal destination of choice for the most highly-coveted players on both sides of the ball as the Rebels look to become the new challenger to the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs at the forefront of the conference.

    McDonald set the Tennessee ball rolling first on Saturday. The former three-star safety heads to Oxford after establishing himself as a playmaker at the heart of the Volunteers’ secondary.

    MORE: 2023 All-American College Football Team and Individual Honors

    He served predominantly as a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor in his first two seasons but has been the starter at the STAR position for 23 games the past two years.

    The 6’2″, 200-pound safety has tallied 115 tackles with 8.5 for loss and a sack in his four seasons with Tennessee, showcasing his ability to impact the game beyond being a coverage standout. To that end, he’s tallied 12 passes defended with four interceptions. McDonald has snagged at least one pick in each of the last three seasons before coming to Ole Miss.

    In addition to being a big, physical presence at the safety position, McDonald gives Ole Miss a playmaker with high-level football IQ and leadership. He’s been responsible for making reads and setting the defense. His play attracted the attention of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but instead of heading to an All-Star game, he’ll remain in college and head to Oxford for 2024.

    The capture of the highly sought-after Tennessee two in the transfer portal is the latest coup for Ole Miss head coach Kiffin. Earlier this week, the Rebels attracted former Florida standout Princely Umanmielen to Oxford, with highly-rated defensive backs Tahveon Nicholson and Key Lawrence also joining the program ahead of the 2024 college football season.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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