1. Transfer status of Aubrey Solomon and Deangelo Gibbs
Trey Smith’s status is a big deal for the depth of Tennessee football’s offensive line. But the eligibility status of Aubrey Solomon and Deangelo Gibbs is another big deal and one that could be an immediate boost.
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When asked about their situation, all Jeremy Pruitt did was talk about his experience as a transfer and then state his case for them. However, it was very clear that both of their statuses remain up in the air. And that leaves the status of some units up in the air.
Solomon is the biggest deal. Once a five-star commitment to the Michigan Wolverines, if he were eligible to play this year, the Vols could offset all their losses on the defensive line much earlier. Joining Emmit Gooden, Solomon gives the Vols two solid defensive tackles in Pruitt’s 3-4 scheme.
Meanwhile, the addition of Savion Williams means Pruitt has a rotation of three highly touted upperclassmen at the position, and that’s a big deal after losing so much talent there last year. So Solomon’s status is huge for everybody.
Gibbs is a different story. Once a four-star athlete, he played safety for the Georgia Bulldogs. The coaches ran him some at receiver in the spring, but it looks like defensive back is indeed where he is meant to be.
Right now, the Vols are set at both cornerback spots and at nickel, and they have Nigel Warrior at strong safety. But the other free safety spot is wide open, and while Trevon Flowers is a sophomore who provides lots of potential, Gibbs is an experienced guy who could step right into that role. As a result, his status could be a bigger deal than you think.
If Gibbs gets the green light, Tennessee football will have no weaknesses in the secondary. Solomon getting it could build up the Vols’ much-needed depth on the defensive line. But the status of neither was revealed by Pruitt and the Vols at SEC Media Days this week, so Rocky Top has to wait in limbo with them and Smith on the offensive line.