Tennessee football linebackers have many more roles in their new system. Here is a preview of the Volunteers at that position for 2018.
Coming from a nickel base defense and transitioning to a 3-4 means a major adjustment for the Tennessee football linebackers. Add in the losses of key contributors Colton Jumper, Cortez McDowell and Elliott Berry, and the Vols would seem to have an uphill climb giving Jeremy Pruitt the depth he needs here.
However, like many other units, position changes and a couple of key recruiting additions may have stocked up this roster beyond what many expected. The return of the two leading tacklers from last year at the position only helps things. Then there are other players getting healthy.
Simply put, Tennessee football is nowhere near as desperate at linebacker as we would have thought when Pruitt took the job. Back in the spring, Pruitt and Kevin Sherrer tried numerous players out at the position. They moved more after spring. And linebacker is now a position that the Vols will look toward to save the defense this year.
Can they do it? As we bring you our preview of the Vols at this position, it’s important to note we’ll separate inside and outside linebackers. Yes, Pruitt has said he wants guys who can play all four positions. But it’s very clear which players he’s lining up where.
As a result, we’ll take a look at the inside linebacker rotation on our first slide. Following that, we’ll turn to the outside linebacker rotation. Then we’ll throw all the backups in together before giving a final take on the whole unit.
With the transition to a 3-4, is this unit able to make a splash? Do they have the personnel to run the right rotation? Let’s find out. Here’s our preview for the 2018 Tennessee football team at the linebacker position.