Darrell Taylor is already a breakout star for Tennessee football and has expectations of turning into a superstar this year. But that other outside linebacker spot is up for grabs. Deandre Johnson emerged last year as a reliable player after Jonathan Kongbo was knocked out for the season.
This year, with his experience, he should be the favorite to start at that position. Kivon Bennett emerged in the spring, Jordan Allen still has potential as a four-star junior college transfer, and Roman Harris, a four-star freshman, is turning heads in practice. But Johnson should still be the one to hold onto this position.
And if he does, he should emerge as a star to complement what Taylor can do. In what was technically just one start last year, he did manage three tackles for a loss and two sacks. If everybody is saying Taylor could explode into a consistent superstar after a year in Jeremy Pruitt’s 3-4 system, couldn’t Johnson at least become a star?
Of course he could! That’s why we have him on the list. Johnson has proven enough to show he can be a very reliable starter at outside linebacker, so this is his year to break out onto the scene playing opposite Taylor.