Key Lawrence announces transfer to Oklahoma from Tennessee football

Mike Wilson
Knoxville News Sentinel

Another one of Tennessee football's former top recruits is transferring to Oklahoma.

Defensive back Key Lawrence announced on Twitter on Monday he intends to play for the Sooners. He entered the transfer portal Friday.

Former five-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris previously indicated he would be transferring to OU from UT on Jan. 18. 

Lawrence is the sixth ex-UT player to announce their transfer from Tennessee to a Power 5 school this offseason: Morris (Oklahoma), quarterback J.T. Shrout (Colorado), outside linebacker Deandre Johnson (Miami), quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (Washington State) and running back Ty Chandler (North Carolina).

Lawrence, a Nashville Ensworth product, was the No. 81 prospect in the nation in the 247Sports Composite for the 2020 class. He picked the Vols over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Lawrence played in all 10 games as a freshman as a reserve defensive back and on special teams. He made eight tackles. Lawrence bounced around the secondary during the season. He worked at safety in the preseason, moved to cornerback early in the season and worked at nickelback.

Lawrence was the fifth Vol to enter the portal since Jeremy Pruitt was fired for cause Jan. 18 amid an investigation that revealed sweeping recruiting violations within the football program. Chancellor Donde Plowman called the investigation's findings "stunning" based on the amount of violations and number of people involved.

Linebacker Henry To'o To'o, running back Eric Gray, linebacker Quavaris Crouch and offensive lineman Jahmir Johnson entered the transfer portal Wednesday night. All four entered the portal in a 27-minute span.

Tennessee has had 15 scholarship players enter the portal since Dec. 1. Eleven of the players started for Tennessee in 2020 and 13 had started during their Vols career. 

Lawrence is the latest of Tennessee's former top recruits to enter the portal, joining Crouch, Gray, To'o To'o and Morris.

The latte four were ranked among Tennessee's top seven signees in the 2019 class, which ranked No. 13 in the nation in the 247Sports Composite.

Morris, one of two five-star recruits to sign with UT under Pruitt, committed to Oklahoma on Jan. 18. Morris was the No. 28 prospect in the 247Sports Composite. To'o To'o was No. 44, Crouch No. 61 and Gray No. 184.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.