The news of middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr.’s transfer puts Tennessee in a tough position.
The Vols will have to turn to the bench for replacements. Sophomore Daniel Bituli and junior Quart’e Sapp make sense to play the inside linebacker spots. Kirkland missed the 2017 season with a knee injury, so Bituli and Sapp are used to the replacement role.
Former defensive coordinator praised Will Ignont’s game, but he couldn’t get on the field too much in the 4-2-5 scheme. The new 3-4 scheme will force more linebackers onto the field and into bigger roles. Ignont could be in for a big season.
The crown jewel of the 2018 signing class was linebacker JJ Peterson. Pruitt lauded Peterson’s versatility to play every linebacker position. The Kirkland departure could open more snaps for him.
WMNL’s Josh Ward discusses the news on Rocky Talk. He also brings on SEC Country’s Blake Morgan to break down the latest with the recruiting.
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