For as much as Warren Burrell benefits from the incidents over the weekend and the unfortunate injury to Baylen Buchanan, Shawn Shamburger gained more from it. After all, he was already in competition with Baylen Buchanan to start at nickel, and the injury that is likely going to result in Buchanan redshirting this year gives Shamburger a clear field.
The only question was if Tennessee football would move Nigel Warrior over there. Well, Warrior was listed as the starting safety on the depth chart alongside Trevon Flowers, and while Alontae Taylor could have also played, star, he’s listed as a No. 1 cornerback. At 5’11” 187 pounds, Shamburger can play corner or star.
Given that Buchanan is out and Bryce Thompson is now suspended indefinitely, Shamburger now has multiple ways he can be a regular starter. And he’s almost certain to see the field as much as the other defensive backs this year. That’s a huge deal.
Over the past two years, Shamburger has often been thrown into the starting lineup before he was ready. With a full offseason to work in the 3-4, though, and his athleticism, this could be his year to shine. And the dominoes are falling in place for him to get that chance. He’s got a lot to take advantage of this season.