Tennessee football: 15 potential dark-horse Vols for 2019 season

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlin Fils-Aime
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlin Fils-Aime /
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Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images /

Yes, we have a special teams player on here. Tennessee football is set at place-kicker and punter with Brent Cimaglia and Joe Doyle. They are even set with Paxton Brooks, listed on here, as their kickoff specialist. But there is a chance Brooks becomes the starting punter as well, and that’s why he’s a dark-horse Vol.

Despite Doyle winning the starting job over Brooks and starting all last year, gaining some recognition for his leg power, the depth chart has Brooks and Doyle listed as potential starters at punter. And given the national hype that was behind Brooks when he committed to the Vols, there’s no doubt he has a big leg.

So, taking all of that into account, don’t count out the chance for Brooks to win the job as a starting punter even after losing it last year. His talents are clear, demonstrated by what he’s able to do on kickoffs. If Jeremy Pruitt wants to translate that over to punts, it would make sense.

It also would explain why a guy like Brooks, an all-world talent who lost his starting job to somebody his age last year, didn’t transfer. Tommy Townsend did that in 2015 when he lost his job to Trevor Daniel, and it would make sense for Brooks to do the same thing. That he didn’t opens the door for him to start as a punter this year.