True freshmen have had a major impact on Tennessee football seasons the past 50 years. Here are the 10 greatest in the history of the Volunteers.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that Tennessee football began to turn to freshmen to help its varsity team. A program with so much talent and experience, it has been hard in the past for first-year guys to start with the Vols.
But since then, Rocky Top has relied on true freshmen and redshirt freshmen at times for leadership. True freshmen are a much more unique situation, as they are often thrown to the fire, and this isn’t college basketball. Things can be difficult there.
Still, there have been many times that true freshmen helped Tennessee football reach certain heights in different seasons. As the years have gone on, the program has relied on more and more of them.
In this post, we’re going to look at the ones who had the biggest impact on the program. This is an analysis of the best true freshman seasons ever for UT players. Everybody gets excited about young guys coming in, but these guys delivered. In fact, this was a list that was hard to trim.
Our criteria will include the stats of players, but we’ll also weigh those against the time they were playing in. Their impact on the team that year will also clearly be a major factor, as stats don’t always tell the whole story.
Sometimes these players turned around seasons for the Vols. Other times, they helped the school win a championship. There may be times, though, in which they stood out in a bad year. However, every one of these players made a big splash that encouraged fans for the future.
So which ones stood out the most. Who deserves a special shoutout for their first-year impacts on Rocky Top? Let’s go ahead and take a look at that now. These are the 10 greatest true freshman seasons any Vol has had in Tennessee football history.