Jeremy Pruitt’s best sign of a great future his first year was the work he did in the secondary. Tennessee football ran freshmen sporadically at free safety and started two at cornerback, both of whom were four-star athletes as commitments in Bryce Thompson and Alontae Taylor. Thompson and Taylor each brought something to the table.
However, Thompson was the breakout star of the two. He had a historically great freshman season for a defensive back on Rocky Top, in particular for a cornerback. And we have to put him on the list as a result.
While starting in 10 games and appearing all 12, Thompson came a way with three interceptions, a high number for any cornerback and especially a freshman, and he add seven pass breakups. Thompson also showed he could play physical, racking up 34 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.
Simply put, Thompson was an elite talent and a complete player for the Vols last year. He pretty much did it all and gives them a ton of excitement for the future. Taylor was good in his own right, but Thompson, who earned freshman All-American honors, was so incredible that he nearly made the top 5 of this historic list. The future is incredibly bright with him in the secondary.