- Blake Morgan SEC Country
The speculation can come to an end as Tennessee cornerback Rashaan Gaulden has decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
— Rashaan Gaulden (@Gmoney_7era) January 3, 2018
Gaulden was a leader on the Vols defense last year and was one of the most versatile players. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop used him primarily as a nickleback.
At 6-foot-1, 191-pounds Gaulden flew around the field and was a disruptive force at times. He was surprisingly enough one of the team’s best blitzers this past season.
The redshirt junior had 65 total tackles last season with 3.5 being for a loss. He had 6 pass breakups, an interception and 3 forced fumbles.
Gaulden was Tennessee’s most consistent defensive performer last season and the loss is a blow to the depth at corner. The Vols were already losing Justin Martin, Emmanuel Mosely and Shaq Wiggins after their eligibility ran out this season.
Sophomore Shawn Shamburger is the only returning corner on the roster with meaningful experience. Even that is only one game when he started the Alabama game due to a suspension.
The Vols don’t have a cornerback commit in the Class of 2018 right now. Coach Jeremy Pruitt has targetted top-tier prospects to fill the need, though. Now he can use the pitch of almost guaranteed playing time early if they come to Rocky Top.
Tennessee also lost running back John Kelly who declared for the draft in December, too.
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