One of Vanderbilt’s most promising young defensive players appears to be departing from Clark Lea’s program as rising sophomore Donovan Kaufman has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.

Kaufman started as a true freshman last fall for the Commodores but managed to play in just two games before suffering a season-ending injury against LSU. During his limited time on the field, Kaufman registered 15 tackles and had one pass breakup.

News of Kaufman’s decision to enter the transfer portal was first reported by Matt Zenitz of

In addition to starting in Vanderbilt’s secondary last fall, Kaufman also returned kicks for the Commodores. He signed with Vanderbilt as a member of the 2020 recruiting cycle out of Archbishop Rummel in New Orleans.

“It’s always got to be about the next man up,” Derek Mason said last season after Kaufman went down due to injury. “The next man up right now is Brendon Harris. Donovan is a different type of player, as most of you got to see in a small game sample. He’s different in what he brings to the table. He’s an impact player.”

The former Vanderbilt coach clearly thought highly of Kaufman and considering that Mason is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn, look for the Tigers to reach out to the newest member of the transfer portal regarding a potential reunion with his former coach.