1. Jeremy Banks
Sophomore; 6’1″ 225 lbs; Cordova, Tenn.
With Madre London gone, Jeremy Pruitt needs somebody else to fill the role of power running back, a role he openly said he wants in his system from Day One. Jeremy Banks is really the only guy on the roster this year who could fit that profile with his 6’1″ 225-pound frame. Once a four-star recruit, Banks is a hard-nosed player, but he also struggled with consistency last year.
As a result, Pruitt moved him over to linebacker for a while. Still, he spent most of his time at running back and 185 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. This year, if he takes another step forward, he could fill that power back role, which would be a huge boost for the Vols.
2. Carlin Fils-Aime
Senior; 5’11” 180 lbs; Naples, Fla.
There’s a chance, as a senior, Carlin Fils-Aime takes Tim Jordan’s role as Tennessee football’s No. 2 back. He spent most of last year in the secondary but switched back to running back to provide help there and has stayed at the position since.
It was a small sample size, but Fils-Aime did average over five yards a carry last year, picking up 36 yards on seven rushers. Entering his senior season, he’s fundamental back like Jordan who provides more depth to give Pruitt that four horsemen collection he wants if Banks comes through.
3. Eric Gray
Freshman; 5’10” 195 lbs; Memphis, Tenn.
A four-star recruit in the Vols’ 2019 class, Eric Gray is a speedster who could become an elite playmaker. He is likely to be a valuable guy in the future, and if the Vols are hit by injuries, he could play a lot this year. But if that doesn’t happen, he’ll likely see most of his action on special teams while waiting for Ty Chandler to leave before becoming a starter.