Four months after bolting Rocky Top, erstwhile Tennessee defensive lineman Dewayne Hendrix has found himself a new football home .
Monday evening, Hendrix announced that he has decided to transfer to Pittsburgh and continue his playing career with the Panthers. In addition to Pitt, Hendrix had considered Illinois, Iowa State and Northern Illinois. He had taken visits to the Panthers, Huskies and Cyclones.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, Hendrix will have to sit out the 2015 season. Beginning in 2016, however, the lineman will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Hendrix played his high school football in the state of Illinois, but apparently Hendrix felt more comfortable with the situation in Pittsburgh. Certainly the Panthers’ new head coach, Pat Narduzzi, was pumped over the player’s decision, despite the official decision not having been made public at the time of his tweet.
Back in mid-December, UT head coach Butch Jones announced that Hendrix was one of two Vols planning to leave the program. A search for a greater opportunity at meaningful playing time was part of the impetus for the decision.
A four-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class, Hendrix was rated as the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Illinois; and the No. 78 recruit over all by Rivals.com. He played in seven games as a true freshman last season.
Hendrix is the second former UT player to transfer to Pitt in the past two months, joining quarterback Nathan Peterman.