We’re on our second offensive lineman for Tennessee football’s 2019 season. And this guy is an interior lineman. Ryan Johnson started all 12 games last year, but he started 11 of them at center due to an injury. Although he did struggle significantly, it’s worth noting that he was playing out of position and has enough talent to make this list.
The interior line is wide open this year with lots of bodies but the largest amounts of concerns after last year. Because of that, a guy like Johnson is crucial due to his versatility. Jeremy Pruitt may need to move him back over at center at times, and his increased experience there should be incredibly valuable for the season.
Other guys like Jahmir Johnson, Riley Locklear, Jerome Carvin, and K’Rojhn Calbert are all potential contributors at guard. But Ryan Johnson, who now knows how to anchor an offensive line, is too crucial of a player to not be on this list. His size, at 6’6″ 301 pounds, also allows him to cover a unique amount of ground at guard.
If the Vols lose Johnson, then they could start stumbling to a repeat of what happened in 2018, and that would be disastrous. So they have to hope he can stay healthy, which gives Pruitt, Will Friend and Jim Chaney more options on the line.