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247Sports.com photo / Tennessee redshirt freshman tight end Julian Nixon entered the NCAA transfer portal Wednesday without having played for the Volunteers.

Tennessee redshirt freshman tight end Julian Nixon has entered the NCAA transfer portal, becoming the second Volunteers player to do so since spring football practice ended.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder enrolled at Tennessee last summer out of Centennial High School in Atlanta but did not see any action during a 7-6 season that ended with a trip to the Music City Bowl. Nixon was a four-star signee and the fourth highest-rated member of Tennessee's 2021 class behind linebacker Aaron Willis, athlete Kaemen Marley and quarterback Kaidon Salter, with only Willis still with the Vols.

Nixon joins James Robinson, a reserve redshirt sophomore offensive lineman, as Vols players who have entered the transfer portal this month.

 

Testing waters

The NBA released its list of college players with remaining eligibility who are going through the draft process, and Tennessee guards Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James were among the 247 early entries. Vescovi and James are maintaining their college eligibility after their junior seasons helped yield a 27-8 record and the program's first Southeastern Conference tournament title since 1979.

Vescovi previously had announced his intentions on social media — "Coach (Rick) Barnes has encouraged me to go through the NBA draft evaluation process, and I intend to take advantage of the opportunity," he said — while James has been quiet.

While Vescovi averaged 13.3 points per game and shot 40.3% from 3-point range this past season, James averaged 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest.

 

Powell to portal?

ESPN reported Wednesday night that Vols guard Justin Powell plans to enter the transfer portal for a second time in his college career.

Powell averaged 11.7 points and shot 44.2% from 3-point range as an Auburn freshman, when his 2020-21 season was cut short by a concussion after only 10 games. He played in 30 games this past season for the Vols, averaging just 3.7 points per game and shooting 38.1% from long range.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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