Vols Football: 5 Things to Watch in Spring Practices

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5. The Development of Young Stars

North had the catch of the year, but can he do even better this season? PHOTO: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

While the 2103 campaign for the Vols may not have ended how they hoped, a few bright spots emerged throughout the season that fans can hang their hats on and have hope for the future. Players like WR Marquez North, cornerback Cam Sutton, WR Alton “Pig” Howard, and safety Brian Randolph all stood out as potential stars that Jones hopes can help be the foundation for his tenure.

North and Howard both flashed their potential in big moments last season, whether it was Howard racking up all-purpose yards against Georgia or North making clutch catches to set up the game-winning field goal against South Carolina, these two receivers can only improve upon their solid seasons and develop even more skills in spring practice with newcomers Josh Malone and Von Pearson to test their abilities with.

Cam Sutton was a Freshman All-SEC, and Brian Randolph was the backbone of the secondary for the Vols last season. If Sutton builds upon his stellar freshman campaign, he could become one of the best corners in the SEC. And as long as Randolph avoids any more injuries, he can provide much needed leadership on a young defense and fuel a now quicker and more athletic defense.

If these select players can improve upon the flashes they showed in 2013 and the incoming recruits live up to the hype, this upcoming season and the next few will have star power Vol fans haven’t seen in quite some time.

All stats provided by ESPN and UT Sports.