8 Tennessee football underclassmen have jumped out, but still have something to prove
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football enters its second week of spring drills looking to replace nine starters from the Vols’ 38-24 bowl win over Nebraska.
As is the case every offseason, players emerge, and that’s especially true after a strong strength and conditioning program under new hire Rock Gullickson.
Here are eight names that have impressed through week one:
Tennessee football QB Jarrett Guarantano
Guarantano has proven he has the arm strength and accuracy, but can he manage the offense and make plays when the primary call breaks down?
Tennessee football QB Quinten Dormady
Dormady has shown the big arm that led Alabama to offer him a scholarship, but has he done enough entering his junior season to have earned the team’s trust? The starting job could depend on it.
Tennessee football WR Marquez Callaway
Tennessee needs a bonafide receiver to step forward, and new receivers coach Kevin Beard seems to be having a positive effect on Callaway. So why didn’t Callaway see the field more last season?
Tennessee football OL Trey Smith
True freshmen aren’t supposed to start on strong offensive lines in the SEC. But here’s Smith, making a push in spring drills, and making ESPN look smart for ranking him the No. 1 player in the 2017 class. Why didn’t the other services rank him a 5 star?
Tennessee football SS Nigel Warrior
All the athletic ability in the world, but many wondered if he would grow up and mature into the type of student of the game that a safety needs to be. So far, the answer is yes. Can he stay focused and win the job?
Tennessee football CB Marquill Osborne
One of the greater need positions on defense, Osborne has looked solid in the portions of practice open to the media, and he appears to move with great fluidity and confidence. Can he make plays when the lights come on?
Tennessee football DE Darrell Taylor
Tennessee sure feels good about Taylor, putting a live mic on him and featuring him in a hitting/highlight video. That confidence counts for something and so does the plays that Taylor was making in the video. Can he beat out Kyle Phillips for a starting job?
Tennessee football OLB Daniel Bituli
One of the most impressive physical specimens on the football team, it’s all about how quickly Bituli can pick up the scheme. Junior leader Darrin Kirkland Jr. has made it his responsibility to have Bituli ready for Georgia Tech. Can Bituli learn the playbook fast enough?