Tennessee football: 10 Vols who did not benefit from 2019 spring practice

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21: Shawn Shamburger
TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21: Shawn Shamburger /
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Tennessee football
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Everything that applies to Riley Locklear applies to Nathan Niehaus. Again, Tennessee football had an open competition, and being named to the second-team offensive line in the spring game put these guys very far behind. The offensive line is too much in flux for players to allow that to happen to themselves.

Add in the fact that three newcomers are going to be here in the summer with two guys getting healthy, and the people in the worst shape are the juniors and seniors on the offensive line who couldn’t make first-team. Niehaus is one of those guys.

Sure, Jerome Carvin, Chris Akporoghene, Ollie Lane and Eric Crosby were all also on the second-team. But they are sophomores and freshmen, so they have time. The juniors and seniors needed to step up. Marcus Tatum, Ryan Johnson and Jahmir Johnson were able to do that to get first-team.

To make matters even worse, though, Pruitt was highly critical of the offensive line play in the spring game overall. And the second-team allowed three sacks with Niehaus playing left tackle. The offense on that unit averaged under two and a half yards a carry in the game. So it was a bad outing overall, and that puts lots more pressure on Niehaus this offseason.