The Tennessee Volunteers kick off the season in less than 10 days. After a long fall camp, the gentleman of Knoxville are ready to put the work into action. Let’s break down the ins and outs of what to expect in their home opener against the Ball State Cardinals on September 1st. Without further wait, here are our projections for who will crack the starting lineup for the Vols this season.
Tennessee Volunteers Depth Chart Prediction – Offense
- Hendon Hooker, Gr/Tr (#5)
- Joe Milton III, RS Sr/Tr (#7)
- Tayven Jackson, Fr (#3)
Without a doubt, Hooker is going to be set up behind center to start week 1. The senior is being watched closely as he hopes to put up another attention grabbing season. Hooker threw for over 2,900 yards, and 31 touchdowns last year. Hendon Hooker hopes to put up another Heisman number type season, while leading the Volunteers and the city of Knoxville.
- Jabari Small, Jr (#2)
- Jaylen Wright, So (#20)
- Justin Williams-Thomas, Fr (#26)
Jabari Small is one of the most elusive, and dynamic running backs in the game today. His quick burst of speed, and insane vision should be plenty enough to put him at the number 1 spot on the depth chart. Small rushed for almost 800 yards, and 9 touchdowns last year. He is someone that I expect to have an amazing year for the Volunteers.
- Cedric Tillman, RS Sr (#4)
- Ramel Keyton, Sr (#80)
- Jalin Hyatt, Jr (#11)
The wide receiver core for the volunteers this year is quite spectacular. Leading the way is number 4, Cedric Tillman. The redshirt senior had over 1,000 yards, and 13 touchdowns last year. Paving the way for the Vols to finish with a record above .500. Expect nothing less than amazing this year, as Tillman and Hooker work some magic for the orange and white.
- Jacob Warren, RS Sr (#87)
- Princeton Fant, RS Sr (#88)
The tight end position is another one of the Vols biggest strengths. With the hands of Jacob Warren, combined with Tillman, this offense is almost unstoppable.
- LT – Jeremiah Crawford, Sr (#53)
- LG – Jerome Carvin, Sr (#75)
- OC – Cooper Mays, Jr (#63)
- RG – Javontez Spraggins, Jr (#76)
- RT – Darnell Wright, Sr (#58)
The Volunteer offensive line this year is STACKED. The big fellas up front are going to provide a ton of protection for dynamic quarterback Hendon Hooker. I expect the line to hold their own against pretty much anyone next year. Now, lets dive into the defensive side of things.
Depth Chart Prediction – Defense
- DE – Tyler Baron, Jr (#9)
- DT – Elijah Simmons, RS Jr (#51)
- DT – Omari Thomas, Jr (#21)
- LEO – Byron Young, Sr (#6)
The defensive line for Tennessee this year is a lot better than last year. They are older, stronger, and smarter than ever before. The Vols defense needed improvements and with the addition of some more experienced lineman, It might just have been the missing puzzle piece.
Linebackers, Safeties, and Cornerbacks
- LB – Aaron Beasley, Sr (#24)
- LB – Jeremy Banks, RS Sr (#33)
- SS – Jaylen McCollough, Sr (#2)
- FS – Trevon Flowers, Sr (#1)
- CB – Warren Burrell, Sr (#4)
- CB – Kamal Hadden, RS Jr (#5)
Finally, we have the linebackers, corners, and Safeties. These are a veteran group of men who are looking for revenge after an average season last year. Senior Jeremy Banks will certainly lead the pack, and the fearless rest of the secondary will follow.
The city of Knoxville is desperately awaiting for the start of the season, and so is the rest of the college football world. When September 1st comes, and 100,000 fans come swarming the city of Knoxville, the only question that coms to mind is: Can anyone beat Tennessee this year?
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