Joining Alontae Taylor as the only returning starter in the secondary who is not injured or suspended is the one veteran of the group, Nigel Warrior. The son of Tennessee football legend Dale Carter, Warrior has been a different type of defensive back altogether. He’s more about positioning and keeping things under control, while Carter was about the big plays.
Anyway, entering his senior year, Warrior is already the top secondary player, but he also has a chance to become a breakout star. With the unit more familiar in the 3-4 defense and lots of talent in the secondary, he has a chance to rack up lots of stats in different ways. Last year, he showed his physical abilities with 64 tackles, and he has five and a half career tackles for a loss.
Studying under Jeremy Pruitt for two years should serve Warrior incredibly well his senior year. Having more consistency at the other safety spot, now, with Trevon Flowers like to start there, is also a big deal. One of the things Warrior does so well is play up on the line and help contain runners on misdirection plays. He’s just a very smart guy.
As a result, the 6’0″ 190-pound senior is by far the most important secondary player and one of the most important players on the team period. He may not rack up the stats a guy like Darell Taylor does or even one of the UT cornerbacks. But Derrick Ansley has use for him, and he has to keep the whole secondary together.