We’re not done with the defensive backs on here by a long shot. To this point, the guys we have named are returning players who either haven’t gotten the chance to play much or converted from another position. Here, though, we’re looking at a true freshman who could make an immediate impact for Tennessee football at cornerback.
Bryce Thompson is a four-star member of the Vols 2018 recruiting class. He didn’t enroll in the spring, which could put him behind in learning Jeremy Pruitt’s and Kevin Sherrer’s system. However, by all accounts, he has a natural feel for the game that you can’t teach.
On top of that, Thompson’s athleticism allows him to recover from mistakes more easily anyway. With other, possibly less athletic players at the position still having to learn the transition to the 3-4, that gives a huge opening for Thompson to come in and make a play.
Thompson was recruited as an overall athlete, and the coaches decided to move him specifically to cornerback. That suggests they’re still looking for help there, and Thompson is a guy who could work his way into that rotation as a result.
In fact, Thompson could show himself to be an elite playmaker at the position before it’s all said and done. We thought about naming Kenneth George Jr. on here as well, as he’s another newcomer shocking people. But he’s at safety, which is deeper overall, so there are fewer opportunities for him to start. It’s wide open for Thompson.