The Tennessee football program has lost more than their fair share of players to the transfer portal in the last months, including numerous (formerly) highly rated recruits across various classes.
Venice (Fla.) wide receiver Malachi Wideman signed with Tennessee in the 2020 class as a late addition during the February signing period. The victory on the trail helped boost the Vols class into the top-10 while adding one of the most naturally talented pass catchers in America.
Unfortunately, Wideman was a summer enrolled, and COVID-19 was already in full swing, so he was never able to work his way into the lineup last fall.
With a fresh start and new offense that suited his style of play ahead of him on Rocky Top under Josh Heupel, Wideman was a minimal participant this spring, and following the end of the Spring semester, he returned home and did not return to the team. Wideman has now officially entered the transfer portal, and he recently addressed the decision.
"Greetings Vol family, first of all I want to thank you wholeheartedly for welcoming me to the University of Tennessee. It has been an eye opening experience to be part of such team. I have learned lifelong lessons and made lifelong relationships with people I plan to keep in my life and I would like to thank Coach Pruitt and his staff for recruiting me and seeing my potential to be not only a great athlete but a better man."
“Unfortunately, after taking a lot of things into great consideration I have decided to do what is best for me and my family. I am embarking on a future that will allow me to showcase my God-given talents on a solid platform in basketball and football. I will always have love for Tennessee and my fellow teammates, but at this time God, has compelled me to choose another path. I have entered the transfer portal.”
Due to the COVID-19 blanket eligibility rule, Wideman will have four years of eligibility remaining. He was also a highly regarded basketball recruit coming out of high school.