Tennessee football is getting more physical. And with that comes an emphasis on tougher tight end play, which is going to make those players a crucial part of Jeremy Pruitt’s and Tyson Helton’s system. That was supposed to prove difficult with the departures of Ethan Wolf and Jakob Johnson this year. However, it’s not going to.
There’s too much evidence now to avoid the fact that the Vols are surprisingly deep at tight end. They have five guys who were three-star recruits or higher at the position. One is a four-star JuCo player who Nick Saban desperately wanted. Another was one of the top three guys to go with Jeremy Pruitt to SEC Media Days and was the most improved player this spring.
The combination of the two shows that tight end is actually appearing to turn into a position of strength for the Vols. That’s at least the case for the starters. When the bench has three other three-star recruits at the position, a converted linebacker and a converted defensive end, somebody is bound to step up.
As a result, tight end is one position of depth that Rocky Top doesn’t have to worry about. Pruitt and Helton have restocked the roster there despite the injuries and attrition from last year. And it might be the strongest position for the Vols.
This is a very unique situation. The Vols are so unproven at tight end that it should be a question heading into the year, one of many. But the movements in the offseason and actions taken by Pruitt tell a completely different story. And that is the good news for Rocky Top here.
Note: This preview is part of a series of previews for the 2018 Tennessee football season. For a look at other positions, please click here.