Staying on the offensive line, it’s becoming pretty clear that Will Friend has some work to do. Again, the reason so many linemen are on the list is because there are five guys who start there at any time, and outside of that first rotation, the Vols are completely unproven.
We talked about the situation for Tennessee football at offensive tackle when it comes to this. Well, on the other side of Chance Hall is Drew Richmond. Once a five-star recruit, Richmond has struggled with consistency since he’s been in Knoxville after redshirting in 2015.
Now, he’s learning an entirely new scheme and also having to adjust to a pro-style offense. On top of that, to add to the pressure, he’s the likely starting blindside tackle having to learn this offense. That makes his role crucial.
On top of all that, Richmond is the only guy who has demonstrated a real ability to play left tackle. As a result, even with questions about his consistency, the Vols can’t afford to go without him. He’s just too valuable at 6’5″ 316 pounds. With a new staff, this should finally be his year to be able to burst onto the scene.
There is proof that Richmond has talent. Even on bad days, he’s just not terrible. The only drawback on him is he hasn’t been as great as his five-star rating once indicated. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he is the only guy who can truly play his position. So the Vols need him to stay healthy.