Continuing the Tennessee football tradition of Punter U, Joe Doyle did exactly what Trevor Daniel did before him. He arrived on Rocky Top as a walk-on, took a redshirt, and then beat out a highly-touted freshman with a big leg for the starting punter job.
Doyle beat Paxton Brooks, who is still on the roster as a kickoff specialist and is another sophomore. But Brooks is a true sophomore, and Doyle is a redshirt sophomore. Last year, he averaged 41.1 yards a punt, pinned 23 of his 65 punts inside the 20-yard line, had 28 fair-caught, and sent 12 50 yards or more, including one that went 71 yards.
Because of his efforts, some outlets named Doyle a freshman All-American. This year, he’s got that punting position locked up because of what he has already shown. And his potential is even greater, as many punters who show flashes their first year explode their second year.
That could be the case for Doyle, which is why he is more than worthy of being on this list. Of course, unlike many punters, he’s got Brooks breathing down his neck. So that could be pushing him even more, and it may weigh on him. We’ll see if that’s a good or bad thing. Based on what we saw last year, though, he should be fine.