Tennessee and Alabama facing off likely won’t feature the heated rivalry the third Saturday in October is known for.
Alabama has dominated the matchup of late. The last time the Vols beat the Crimson Tide was a 16-13 victory in 2006.
Let’s look at two examples where Tennessee has beaten Alabama recently … off the field.
Here are two prospects Alabama recruited until their ultimate decision, but who will be helping Tennessee try and pull off the upset Saturday:
Nigel Warrior, S
Yes, Warrior was a legacy recruit for the Vols. His father, Dale Carter, played for the Vols in the 1990 and 1991 seasons. This didn’t stop Alabama from pursuing Warrior, though. He rated as the No. 61 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Warrior took an official visit to Alabama two weeks before signing day, but it wasn’t enough to sway his decision from Tennessee.
Warrior played in 12 games as a freshman and started one against Missouri. He has started all six games this season at strong safety. He has 45 tackles and 2 forced fumbles.
Warrior has turned into one of the more consistent performers on defense and a leader, even though he is only a sophomore.
Trey Smith, OG
Smith become one of the most heralded prospects in the Class of 2017. He has been described as a “generational talent” on the offensive line. Of course, Alabama would come calling for the 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman. Nick Saban visited Smith the day before he committed to the Vols, it obviously wasn’t enough.
Smith has started all six games to this point as a freshman. He took hold of the right guard spot from the beginning of training camp in July.
Smith has struggled in pass protection, but he makes strides every week. He was a force in the running game from the first game against Georgia Tech.
Trey Smith has that mean streak that needs to rub off on the other o-lineman badly. pic.twitter.com/fEosknIuJz
— JT Clifton (@JT_SAR_Fball) September 5, 2017
Warrior and Smith are two players who have become leaders for the Vols. Alabama doesn’t have many holes on its team. The coaching staff likely wishes it was able to snag commitments from these two, though.