By: Dallas Bowlin
Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Junior Producer, Co-Host
The All Vol Call in Show
On December 14, 2019, Doneiko Slaughter made his pledge to Tennessee, just one day after de-committing from the Arizona Sun Devils. According to Rivals, Slaughter’s stock had been rising prior to his commitment to Tennessee.
Slaughter's senior season footage revealed a player with a nose for the ball and a desire to hit, which is certainly a must for a guy named ”Slaughter.” The ability to play the deep ball was mentioned as a necessary improvement for him. Did he improve?
As a true freshman, Slaughter appeared in all ten games and made one start at STAR. He recorded eight tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack on the season. He set a career-high with three tackles against Kentucky. Was the Vols' sole true freshman starter during the 2020 season.
Slaughter appeared in 11 games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams as a sophomore. He tied his career tackle record three times (Alabama, Missouri, and Pittsburgh), but he did not make any starts in the 2021 season.
His junior season was his most fruitful, as he started 12 games, led the team in pass breakups with seven, and had one interception and one fumble recovery. His greatest game of the season arguably came in the Vols' Orange Bowl victory over Clemson, where he started at cornerback and had five solo tackles, and a career-best (and game-high) three pass breakups.
Now, as one of the best defenders on Tennessee's team this season, he has a chance to make a splash in the conference and nationally. Slaughter's progress as a player, as well as his patience and willingness to wait his turn, provides a positive message to those waiting in the wings for their opportunity to play.