Tennessee football will start Baylen Buchanan and Emmanuel Moseley at cornerback Saturday when the Volunteers take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens.
With Cameron Sutton out, Tennessee football defensive coordinator Bob Shoop is making another change at his cornerback situation.
Justin Martin is out, and Baylen Buchanan is in.
Buchanan was a three-star recruit and one of the lowest-rated members of the 2016 Tennessee football recruiting class. But he will start alongside Emmanuel Moseley this weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs, according to a report on 247Sports.
This is obviously the first start for Buchanan. He is the son of former NFL defensive back Ray Buchanan.
Despite his low ratings, Buchanan was clearly ready to play college football due to his pedigree. The Vols removed his helmet stripe before any other newcomer this past offseason.
And he has looked good when he has gotten in on the action.
So he clearly looks more than able to take a starting job as a freshman. But it’ll be tough going into an SEC match-up against the Dawgs.
Meanwhile, Martin has struggled in Tennessee’s defensive system ever since Shoop arrived. He has the raw talent, and he’ll likely be fine long-term. However, he has a bit of an ankle injury. As a cornerback whose style of play is based on speed, that can be very difficult.
But his play last Saturday is what built the Gators a 21-point lead early.
So until he can get fully healthy, Shoop is smart to go with Buchanan. He stepped in for Martin in the second half Saturday and had a huge role in the Vols shutting down Florida’s offense.
This Saturday, Buchanan will have a huge opportunity. Tennessee’s defensive line is elite up front, so he could have a few chances at interceptions. That holds true for the entire secondary.
It will be interesting to see how well he plays. Malik Foreman could also play in Martin’s place.