While players like quarterback Joshua Dobbs and defensive back Cameron Sutton rightfully receive many of the headlines leading into the Tennessee football season, there may be no player Vols fans are more anxious to see on the field this fall than defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo.
The nation’s No. 1 JUCO recruit for the 2016 signing class has worked Tennessee fans into a frenzy with his bold predictions for success on his Twitter account, which often are accompanied by impressive workout videos.
According to a report from 247Sports writer Wes Rucker, new Vols defensive coordinator gave Tennessee even more reason to be excited about Kongbo on Friday when he revealed that the defensive lineman had put on more weight and was turning heads during off-season workouts.
Rucker reports that Shoop told a crowd at the KOC Kickoff Classic luncheon that Kongbo now weighs 282 pounds, which is a 12-pound increase from his listed 270 pounds on the official Tennessee football website.
Would that increase in size lead to a move to the interior of the defensive line for a player listed as a defensive end?
“It’s funny, we were just talking about this: I’m not a big believer in talking a whole lot about body weight,” Shoop said, according to Rucker’s report. “As long as guys have good body composition and as long as they can move, that’s fine. We’ve used these terms a bunch today, ‘dominant’ and ‘disruptive’ out front. It’s all about being fast and being explosive.
“Length, speed, quickness, agility and explosiveness are things that we’re looking for up front.”
Shoop also reportedly praised Kongbo’s workout habits, indicating he was “as advertised” in that department. For now, Vols fans will have to wait to see if that translates into on-field production.