Tennessee football 2018 preview by position: Vols secondary

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: Micah Abernathy
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: Micah Abernathy /
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Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

Projected backups

Carlin Fils-Aime; Junior; 5’11” 180 lbs; Naples, Fla.

Carlin Fils-Aime here is a bit of a stretch. After all, he just played running back last year. However, he made amazing strides at the cornerback position in the spring. Combine that with a full preseason, and he’ll develop very fast. He won’t do it fast enough to be in the rotation this year, but he’s a top bench guy and should be a major player entering his senior season.

Alontae Taylor; Freshman; 6’0″ 186 lbs; Manchester, Tenn.

A four-star athlete, Alontae Taylor is actually listed as a defensive back and wide receiver. But it’s clear that Jeremy Pruitt likes him more as a defensive back. As a result, he’ll be on that side of the ball for Tennessee football, and as he develops this year, he’ll become a major threat at the position in 2019, just like Fils-Aime. For this year, it’s about him providing depth.

Trevon Flowers; Freshman; 5’11” 184 lbs; Tucker, Ga.

Trevon Flowers is another true freshman who plays safety. He’s not in the four-man rotation there, but he’ll earn himself a spot as the top safety on the bench once he joins the team. Flowers has the most raw potential of any backup true safety on this list.

Terrell Bailey; r-Freshman; 5’11” 186 lbs; Harvey, La.

Terrell Bailey worked a good bit with the first team for the Vols in the spring. However, the development of newcomers and the position changes have moved him further down in the depth chart. Bailey has a solid future, but he’ll likely be a bench guy again this year.

Kenneth George Jr.; Sophomore; 5’11” 195 lbs; Lafayette, La.

Kenneth George Jr. was a late addition as a junior college transfer for the Vols. According to reports, he has talent but is very raw. So it will take a bit of time for him to develop. This year, he’ll be another guy to provide depth for the Vols.

Bryce Thompson; Freshman; 5’11” 180 lbs; Irmo, S.C.

A four-star defensive back, Bryce Thompson has a ton of potential for Tennessee football. He just needs time to develop, so he’ll be a benchwarmer this year who provides depth. We have him down here because he may need to take a redshirt.

Maleik Gray; Sophomore; 6’2″ 200 lbs; Lavergne, Tenn.

Maliek Gray can play safety, joining Trevon Flowers on this list as the only backups who can do so. But he was with the second team the entire spring and figures to ride the bench again this year as he develops. Like the other guys on this list, he can be productive in the future. It just won’t apply this year.

Brandon Davis; Freshman; 5’10” 170 lbs; New Orleans, La.

A two-star recruit, Brandon Davis certainly needs to take a redshirt for the Vols. The true freshman will need to bulk up to get more physical. He’s the last scholarship guy on this list who could potentially see the field.

Related Story. Projecting Vols 2018 depth chart. light

Other defensive backs on the roster

MaLeik Gatewood; Junior; 5’10” 194 lbs; Memphis, Tenn.

Sam Harvin; Junior; 5’11” 291 lbs; Nashville, Tenn.

Bryce Collier; Junior; 5’11” 183 lbs; Joelton, Tenn.

Garrett Johnson; Junior; 5’11” 182 lbs; Germantown, Tenn.

Zach Weatherly; Sophomore; 6’2″ 184 lbs; Nashville, Tenn.

Jake Powers; Sophomore; 6’0″ 178 lbs; Memphis, Tenn.