Place-kicker and kickoff specialist
Brent Cimaglia; Sophomore; 6’0″ 210 lbs; Franklin, Tenn.
Brent Cimaglia is one of the bright spots when it comes to returning talent on special teams for Tennessee football. He filled in for Aaron Medley due to some Medley injuries last year. And like Medley, he managed to be almost automatic under 40 yards. In fact, he was actually perfect under 40. Also like Medley, he was awful from beyond 40 yards. However, there are a couple of big differences there.
First off, Cimaglia was just a freshman. Medley had the same problem all four years beyond 40. And secondly, Cimaglia did nail a field goal from beyond 50 yards. So he has a ton of leg power. As a result, we have him starting full-time as the place-kicker and kickoff specialist for the Vols this year coming off a season in which he was 8-of-13 on field goals and 3-of-3 on extra points. With a year to himself, he should be able to develop more confidence and consistency.
Paxton Brooks; Freshman; 6’6″ 180 lbs; West Columbia, S.C.
Tennessee football suffered a major blow with the loss of Trevor Daniel. However, the Vols appear to have a guy with a solid leg in Paxton Brooks. A true freshman, the lack of competition made it likely he’d win the job immediately, and we’re pretty much falling in line with that conventional wisdom with this preview.
Brooks was erratic in the spring game, but being an early enrollee was big for him being able to get integrated into the system. He does have the potential, and quite honestly, this spot is so thin that he takes it by default.
Riley Lovingood; Junior; 6’0″ 213 lbs; Hendersonville, Tenn.
Riley Lovingood has been the long-snapper for the past two years, and that’s not likely to change here. Remember, he was once the SEC special teams player of the week for running down field and catching a punt to down it inside the five-yard line. That was in 2016 against the Georgia Bulldogs, and it turned out to be a crucial play, as on that drive, the Vols defense got a strip-sack in the end zone for a touchdown. That was as much a difference in their 34-31 win as anything.
Elijah Medford; Senior; 5’9″ 202 lbs; Burlington, N.C.
Elijah Medford was the other long-snapper in the Tennessee football spring game. He is the guy who will be the short-snapper for the Vols, handling field goals, extra points and pooch punts. Medford has appeared in 23 games over the past two years and now enters his senior season on Rocky Top.