Because of the help of Dontae Wilson up front and the push he can provide, the Georgia State Panthers could have some versatility at linebacker, which would give Tennessee football lots of trouble. A major part of that versatility is Victor Heyward, who is back to help an experienced unit take a step forward.
Heyward is a guy who finds a way to get big plays. Last year, he had three tackles for a loss and assisted for a sack. Then he had an interception and two passes defended along with a fumble recovery. His pass coverage stats were as good as secondary players who are back, including Quavian White and Jaylon Jones.
At 6’2″ 220 pounds, the junior linebacker could become a major force if he takes another step forward. His talent and potential are clear, and while he had five tackles for a loss and three sacks in 2017, he did up his overall tackle count from 38 as a freshman to 48 as a sophomore. More experienced players around him should allow him to restore his game to where it was.
And that’s what could give the Vols trouble. If there’s a push up front, Heyward could be the guy to cash in on it. That may be from rushing the passer to dropping back and catching an errant pass. Either way, he will be a lot to deal with.