KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A trio of Tennessee newcomers shed their stripes Tuesday.
As the Volunteers concluded training camp, freshman wideout Tyler Byrd, junior college transfer receiver Jeff George and freshman offensive lineman Marcus Tatum were all honored, joining freshmen defensive backs Baylen Buchanan and Nigel Warrior as newcomers to lose their helmet stripes.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) August 16, 2016
Byrd has impressed throughout camp, pushing veteran wideout Josh Smith for playing time in the slot. The former 4-star prospect highlighted UT’s “TenneSpeed” chart and scored a touchdown in Saturday’s closed scrimmage.
“Love that kid. He’s so humble,” Smith said earlier in camp.
“He’ll be huge for us.”
George, a 4-star recruit from Dodge City C.C., has had a quieter camp, but he is expected to make an impact in the fall, too, especially in the red zone.
Finally, Tatum rapidly has exceeded expectations in Knoxville. The Ormond Beach (Fla.) product came in undersized, but the 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive lineman has shown a willingness to compete, learn and improve.
“He’s giving us quality reps,” coach Butch Jones said earlier this week.
“He’s getting better and better.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Jesse Simonton covers Tennessee football and recruiting for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and SECCountry.com