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 John Sommers II/Getty Images
Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images /

We’re back to the linebackers. Like Solon Page III, Shanon Reid was a first-team linebacker for Tennessee football in the Orange and White game in the spring, starting alongside Daniel Bituli and emerging as a primary candidate to replace Darrin Kirkland Jr. He’s still that guy and has the potential to become one of the most important defensive players this year.

At 6’0″ 224 pounds, Reid played in nine games last year and has spent his first two seasons altogether on Rocky Top as a reserve. But now he is listed as a potential starter on the depth chart that Jeremy Pruitt released. In fact, he could end up starting this weekend against the Georgia State Panthers with Bituli hurt.

Not being placed as just a No. 2 guy is what puts Reid so much higher on this list above Page and J.J. Peterson. He is actually likely to be a major contributor this year, and even when Bituli comes back, he could become a full-time starter, giving him a chance to become a star in the system.

Those things are what put him so high on this list. Jeremy Pruitt clearly needs immediate help at that other inside linebacker spot, which is why even a freshman, Henry To’oto’o, is generating a ton of offseason hype there. Reid is clearly a player who may be able to live up to that.