The Tennessee football kicking game is wide open for 2018. Here is a preview of the Volunteers in that area, including kickers, punters and returners.
One bright spot of the Butch Jones era during his five years on Rocky Top was a heavy focus on the kicking game. Tennessee football always had an elite punter, and they were automatic on field goals within 40 yards. Meanwhile, they had the best return game in the nation.
However, the players responsible for that are all largely gone. Alvin Kamara and Cameron Sutton were major players in the return game, and Evan Berry was the superstar. They’re all gone. Aaron Medley is gone at kicker, and Trevor Daniel is gone at punter.
As a result, the Vols have a ton of work to do to build up their kicking game once again. They have one returning player on that side of special teams with any real experience. Meanwhile, they have one returning, well, returner. So there is talent and potential for Tennessee football in the kicking game at this point.
However, there are numerous questions. And that leaves a lot to be desired. Gen. Robert Neyland’s sixth game maxim emphasizes the kicking game, noting that is where the breaks are mad. The Vols need to live by that as much as possible.
In this preview, we’ll start with the guys who will be doing the kicking, punting and snapping. Then we’ll take a look at all the backups at that position. On the final page, we’ll look at who the major players in the return game we’ll be. And as always, there will be a final take.
Vols fans expect special teams to be where they gain an edge over opponents. Will Jeremy Pruitt and special teams coordinator Charles Kelly be able to get that same edge? Find out our take here in our preview of Tennessee football’s special teams unit for 2018.