Tennessee football: 10 Vols who should have breakout seasons in 2018

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 28: Ty Chandler #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs with the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 28: Ty Chandler #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs with the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

Back to defense, the switches to outside linebacker for elite defensive ends should work wonders for them. We start with Jonathan Kongbo. It’s hard to consider him a breakout player when he’s made some significant plays already for Tennessee football.

After all, last year, Kongbo did have two and a half sacks. And he returned a turnover for a touchdown his sophomore year. But the once five-star junior college transfer now has not ever been able to live up to his hype.

This has a lot to do with the massive injuries on the defensive line. Butch Jones had to line him up at defensive tackle at times, which is highly out of position for him. Then, after spring practice where he worked at defensive end the whole time, Jeremy Pruitt and Kevin Sherrer moved him to outside linebacker.

Many analysts took that to believe he would come off the bench at the position. I took it the opposite. It seemed as if Pruitt thought he could wreak even more havoc lining up there, and he validated my take by saying in the opening fall camp press conference that Kongbo will line back up at end when there are four down linemen.

Simply put, this is just a way to make Kongbo specifically as effective as possible. And that is enough to say he’s going to burst onto the scene for Tennessee football this year. The 6’5″ 254-pound senior has a ton of talent, and now he’s in a position to cash in. Like the other seniors on this list, we have him breaking out as a result.