Tennessee football: Top 10 potential dark-horse Vols for 2018 season

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlin Fils-Aime
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlin Fils-Aime /
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Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

Tennessee football has numerous players who could surprise fans this year. Here are 10 potential dark-horse Volunteers for Jeremy Pruitt’s first year.

We know about the schematic changes on both sides of the ball with a new head coach. In addition to that, we know about the players who enter the season with high expectations. But as we’ve said throughout this preseason, the new Tennessee football era under Jeremy Pruitt opens the doors for lots of surprise players to burst onto the scene.

No matter what type of team you have, every year you expect a few guys to pleasantly surprise you. These are players who were on the roster but didn’t give off a vibe of somebody who would become a household name.

This year, Tennessee football has numerous position battles, and that leaves the door open for quite a few players to be shockingly good. Despite all the big names and talented players still on Rocky Top, Pruitt could always find somebody surprisingly better.

In this post, we’re going to look at the top 10 potential dark-horse Vols for the 2018 season. To be a dark-horse, you have to meet a couple of criteria. This isn’t reserved for the players most likely to see action or even the best players.

Our list involves players who weren’t in any starting lineup projections for the Vols. That eliminates guys who could have breakout seasons like Baylen Buchanan, Shawn Shamburger and Marquill Osborne on defense and Ty Chandler on offense.

Meanwhile, we also have to factor in whether or not the player has a real chance of becoming a starter. So some guys who may see some action this year but won’t actually start unless there’s an injury also had to be left off the list.

Finally, they also have to truly be under the radar. That’s why both Jarrett Guarantano and Keller Chryst are off this list. One of them could shine this year, we just don’t know who that will be yet. So they aren’t dark-horse players.

These rankings include players who could start but aren’t projected to start and haven’t generated a ton of buzz just yet. So who are we talking about? Well, let’s break it down. Here are our top 10 potential dark-horse Tennessee football players.