Other rotational lineman
Note: These are players who won’t technically start, but they’ll see action in the rotation of the overall offensive line.
Ryan Johnson; Sophomore; 6’6″ 302 lbs; Brentwood, Tenn.
Ryan Johnson is the only guy who actually has experience playing center for Tennessee football. Once a four-star recruit, he was recruited as an offensive tackle. That level of versatility makes him the top player on this roster to still be in the rotation even if he won’t start. Johnson will take snaps at center and spend time on the outside, so he’s going to be a big deal.
Jerome Carvin; Freshman; 6’5″ 303 lbs; Cordova, Tenn.
Jerome Carvin was a four-star offensive linemen whom Jeremy Pruitt specifically targeted when he took the Vols job in December. And he secured the commitment. Carvin is the one guy who is built to play in Tyson Helton’s pro-style offense. Being an early enrollee to gain experience and also possessing the versatility to play guard or tackle is why he will get lots of action in the rotation as a true freshman. And it’s why we have Carvin second only to Johnson in that regard.
Marcus Tatum; Sophomore; 6’6″ 293 lbs; Ormond Beach, Fla.
Tennessee football’s tackles have a tough transition from a spread to a pro-style because they have to put on more weight and get more physical. Such is the case for Marcus Tatum. However, he struggled in the spread anyway. So the transition is why he’s not at the top of this list, but he still has a good bit of potential. Tatum’s work ethic to put on weight and fit better into the system speaks volumes to his intangibles, and that will earn him playing time this year.
Devante Brooks; Sophomore; 6’5″ 292 lbs; Bowie, Md.
He converted from tight end and defensive end when he committed. But Devante Brooks made major strides in the spring. As a result, he won’t see the same type of action the other guys see in the rotation. But the offensive line needs to go 10-deep. And Brooks has proven himself as another body that can be in that rotation. So he’ll be able to step in at guard when needed.
Nathan Niehaus; Sophomore; 6’6″ 287 lbs; Cincinnati, Ohio
Like Brooks, Nathan Niehaus can really only play one position. But his is at tackle. There are three other guys who could move over to tackle on here, so he’ll be deep in the depth chart. But he’s the final guy you can expect to see in the rotation if we’re talking about going 10-deep. Niehaus just needs to get bigger to fit into the system, but he has the experience and is developing.