After spending some time in the NCAA transfer portal, former Tennessee offensive lineman Ryan Johnson has decided where he will be heading. In a message posted to his Twitter account on Monday evening, Johnson announced he will be joining the Georgia Tech program.
“After careful consideration, discussion with my family, and many prayers, I have decided to continue my education and football career at the Georgia Institute of Technology,” Johnson announced, suing the official name of Georgia Tech in his statement.
As a graduate transfer, Johnson will be eligible to play immediately for the Yellow Jackets beginning in 2020. It will be the final year of his eligibility and the addition of an offensive lineman with the kind of experience Johnson offers will be a nice boost for Georgia Tech in the short-term future. Georgia Tech can benefit from adding extra bodies on the offensive line as head coach Geoff Collins works to beef up things in his program. Although Johnson doesn’t pack a ton of starting experience, he has played in every game this season for Tennessee, with the obvious exception of the upcoming bowl game.
The transfer portal has been quite busy today and will be very active in the coming days following the conclusion of the regular season. Among the evergrowing number of players adding their names to the transfer portal on Monday included a couple of players from Tennessee. Wide receiver Jerrod Means and offensive lineman Ryan Johnson each entered the transfer portal on Monday.
Johnson took to Twitter to release a letter to his Tennessee followers that confirmed his decision.
“This has not been an easy decision for me or my family as I have been a Vol fan my whole life,” Johnson said. “But I believe that it is time for me to start a new chapter in my life and in my football career.”
For the immediate future, the potential loss of Johnson will have a bit of a more significant impact for the Vols. Johnson is an experienced offensive lineman with some starting experience in Knoxville, although he has largely been used as a backup lineman and special teams player this fall. The redshirt junior will be a graduate transfer, which will make him eligible to play right away next season for any other FBS program.
Means had limited playing time this season as a freshman. By appearing in five games, however, Means cannot use the 2019 season as a redshirt season because he exceeded the four-game limit to qualify for a redshirt this fall. Means will have to sit out the 2020 season as a transfer at any other FBS program, but he can burn his redshirt season in the process to ensure he still has three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2021.