Projected starters at wideout
1. Marquez Callaway; Junior; 6’2″ 199 lbs; Warner Robins, Ga.
Marquez Callaway made the biggest splash for Tennessee football early on last year. He had 115 yards and two touchdowns in the Vols’ epic 42-41 double-overtime win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Following that up, he was fantastic in their game against the Florida Gators. Callaway’s play put them in position to score two touchdowns that only a coach as incompetent as Butch Jones could not finish the job on.
Anyway, he faded off down the stretch of last year as the season collapsed and finished with just over 400 yards. However, there were numerous factors causing that. And little of that was on him. Callaway proved to be the best wideout with the ball in open space, and he showed great leaping abilities.
On top of that, Jeremy Pruitt brought Callaway with him to SEC Media Days. So he is looking to this guy to be a leader. All of this suggests that Callaway will be a go-to player once again for the Vols. And unlike Jones, perhaps Pruitt and Tyson Helton will be smart enough to get him the ball a lot as a result.
2. Jauan Jennings; Junior; 6’3″ 205 lbs; Murfreesboro, Tenn.
You could make a case that Jauan Jennings should be the first wideout off the bench after all the offseason drama. But the guy has proven himself to be an elite playmaker for Tennessee football. And his emotional and competitive edge is just something you can’t ignore. As a result, he’ll be the starter once again.
Coming off an injury, Jennings will likely be the No. 2 guy as he gets his rhythm. But should he return to form, which he eventually will, he should be able to thrive. The guy has just proven too much already.
Callaway is the best pure overall receiver for the Vols. But Jennings is the guy you can rely on to come up big when it counts. That’s enough for us to say that he will be the No. 2 guy but will still see the field a good bit. Pruitt and Helton just can’t afford to not use him.