Shawn Shamburger is an anomaly on this post for a couple of reasons. For starters, he’s one of the few guys who hasn’t yet been held back by injuries or schematic issues. On top of that, he plays the one position bound to be held back by Jeremy Pruitt’s and Kevin Sherrer’s schematic changes.
We all know that the secondary and inside linebackers struggle the most with the switch to a 3-4 defense. As a result, most of the guys on those groups didn’t make this list for Tennessee football. Cornerbacks are specifically an issue, making Shamburger an odder situation.
However, he’s a bit of a different story. Shamburger won over the previous coaching staff with his hard-nosed style of playing last year. He is a physical back who can play the nickel perfectly. That role hasn’t necessarily changed in this new system.
As a result, with Pruitt and Sherrer running him at nickel with the first team throughout the spring, he figures to break out into a very good player. Shamburger likely won’t become a star this year, but the transition at nickel is not as hard. And being the consistent starter at that spot, which we predict he will be, he’ll have numerous chances to be a major contributor.
All of this makes him one of our top players who should burst onto the scene for Tennessee football this year. Shamburger is a guy whose growth into a sophomore player and potential to see more action will help him become a national name.