1. Is the starting position open at kickoff returner?
Ty Chandler is technically the main kickoff returner. But Tennessee football now has options there, especially with a player of similar profile to him in Eric Gray now on their roster. As a result, the Vols could now maybe only use Chandler for offense.
If Gray is as athletic as his tape showed, combining that with his experience in the program as an early enrollee could make Jeremy Pruitt want to use him more on returns. Or maybe he wants to use a defensive guy. We’ll see how it all plays out, but this is could have some interesting competition.
2. Can Brent Cimaglia become an All-American?
He has proven he can hit field goals beyond 50, he’s not erratic beyond 40, and he’s almost automatic within 40 and on extra points. So Brent Cimaglia showed a lot of promise last year, his first full season as a starter at place-kicker.
There’s a chance he takes a major step forward this year, and if he does, he could be a huge weapon for the Vols. While they have had solid kickers in the past, it’s been a while since they’ve had a true weapon. So Cimaglia taking that step could be huge.
3. How much of an advantage will special teams be?
Butch Jones, to his credit, turned special teams into a mismatch for the Vols. He proved how much of an advantage it can be in games with guys like Evan Berry. Jeremy Pruitt could too if he focuses enough on it.
But even if he does, it will require Marquez Callaway living up to his All-SEC billing while Brent Cimaglia and Joe Doyle take major steps. Can that happen so the Vols make up for their youth on both sides of the ball? Doing so would be a major boost.