All the names of Tennessee football’s defensive tackles have been thrown out there. Savion Williams and Darel Middleton bring expectations as junior college transfers, Emmit Gooden is now out for the season, Aubrey Solomon is waiting on an eligibility waiver, and Greg Emerson was a breakout star in the spring.
Kurrott Garland, Kingston Harris and Elijah Simmons are all players who bring hope at nose tackle and the other end spot that uses defensive tackles. But nothing about them has hinted standing out just yet. Where there is quiet potential to stand out is at defensive end.
The bigger guys are there to replace Alexis Johnson and Shy Tuttle. But at that one true end spot, somebody is looking to replace Kyle Phillips. Matthew Butler generated that hype in the spring, and LaTrell Bumphus is doing it now. But don’t count out John Mincey.
At 6’3″ 271 pounds, Mincey has already shown his potential. He had five tackles and a sack in limited action last year, and he brings a bit more speed to the front that Jeremy Pruitt has built completely based on size. As a result, Mincey could be a surprise breakout star for the Vols on the line despite not generating any real talk in the offseason. That’s why he’s on here as a dark-horse.