There are a ton of good wide receivers in the SEC this season. However, Marquez Callaway could quietly be just as good, maybe All-SEC type of good.
Questions, questions, and more questions. That’s how most of the Tennessee fans are feeling about the upcoming 2018 football season. There are questions about how the offense and defense will look.
Fans are wondering if Jeremy Pruitt is finally the right man for the job after a decade of dysfunction. But, there are also questions about what players are going to step up with new systems and new coaching.
Sometimes changing coaches is a hard transition for players. Other times it is relatively straightforward. I know I’m cross referencing sports but look at the difference in Jordan McRae’s game once Bruce Pearl wasn’t the coach. It was a night and day difference.
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One wide receiver that could make a huge splash is Tyler Byrd. I wrote a piece asking is it time to deem Byrd a bust. It wasn’t a hit, but only because I wasn’t clear with the readers. I don’t want any player to fail. I’m a Tennessee fan at heart, so I’m rooting for all the players to be the best they can be.
There is also another receiver sliding under the radar and could a difference maker in games next season. Marquez Callaway busted on the scene in the first game against Georgia Tech last season.
Just as Jauan Jennings went down with a wrist injury and Tennessee fans thought the passing game was doomed, Callaway showed out in a big way. In the game against the Yellowjackets, he had four receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Tennessee took that game in a 42-41 overtime thriller, and if it wasn’t for Callaway and John Kelly, the Vols might have lost that game.
Despite missing a game, Callaway ended the season with 24 receptions for 406 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Now, those numbers don’t jump off the page, but with all the offensive line issues and other receivers being young, Callaway had a good season.
Moving forward, the offensive line still has its struggles, and the quarterback race is up in the air. However, it should be better than last season and so should Callaway.
There are a lot of good SEC receivers. A.J. Brown (Ole Miss), Deebo Samuel (South Carolina), Emanuel Hall (Missouri), and Ryan Davis (Auburn) just to name a few.
It isn’t a stretch to say Callaway is close to that level of talent and if Jauan Jennings is back on the field, that only helps Callaway’s chances to be an All-SEC type of player.
We will see how the offense looks in the new scheme but one thing is for sure Callaway is a big-time playmaker and will make many plays for the Vols next season.