2. Depth remains an issue
There’s no way around the fact that Jeremy Pruitt is concerned about the depth for Tennessee football this year. We could have pointed that out as an issue, but Pruitt revealing it is a huge deal considering how tight-lipped he was about some things unless he wanted to be positive.
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The first thing he brought up was no proven backup quarterback. As much as Pruitt loves Jarrett Guarantano, he at least had Keller Chryst last year. This year, as he noted, he does not know what he’s working with behind Guarantano.
"“After Jarrett, we don’t have a quarterback on our team that’s ever took a college snap.”"
Yes, that’s a big deal. Remember that Guarantano did not finish two games last year due to injury, and he struggled in some November outings after taking a beating at times. So Pruitt needs to find a solid backup in a hurry.
Pruitt’s other fear is that he is not as deep as he’d like to be at outside linebacker. He designated these guys as pure pass-rushers, but he noted that Darrell Taylor is really the only proven guy there heading into the year. And he brought up them being short on numbers.
This can be an issue in a 3-4, but at least Deandre Johnson, Jordan Allen and Kivon Bennett all appear to have shown enough to be solid players. This is another area where recruiting is going to come into play.
Pruitt’s best point about the team’s depth was that right now they are at the potential stage of building a program because of how young they are. And he’s right. The Vols are getting the bodies, they just need those players to prove themselves. That’s what this year should be about.