Tennessee football: Vols stock report following Week Four of 2019

GAINESVILLE, FL- SEPTEMBER 21: Malik Davis #20 of the Florida Gators runs with the ball during the first half of the game in front of Henry To'o To'o #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FL- SEPTEMBER 21: Malik Davis #20 of the Florida Gators runs with the ball during the first half of the game in front of Henry To'o To'o #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /

Stock up

Inside linebackers

Henry To’oTo’o has been developing each week ever since his disastrous play in Tennessee football’s season-opening loss to the Georgia State Panthers. He tied for the team-leader in tackles on Saturday against the Florida Gators with eight, and he also had a key fumble recovery. So the true freshman is looking like a rising star.

Meanwhile, the unit took a huge leap with the return of Daniel Bituli. The senior forced the fumble that To’oTo’o recovered on a strip-sack, one of two sacks Bituli had in the game, and he joined To’oTo’o with eight tackles. Together, this is the clear rotation Jeremy Pruitt needs to stick with for the rest of the season at inside linebacker. He has his top guys, and they are coming on strong.

Place-kicking

Yes, this unit continues to shine, and it’s a rare bright spot. Brent Cimaglia improved to nine-of-nine on the season with another field goal Saturday in The Swamp, and it just so happened to be another one that was past 40 yards. He is a super-reliable kicker, and at some point his leg will come through to finally be the difference for the Vols in a close game.

Beyond Cimaglia, the kickoffs are going well too with Paxton Brooks. He continues to boot them out of the end zone for touchbacks, and nobody can return them. But Cimaglia is still the star, and this unit as a whole is still the one consistent bright spot for the Vols. It’s by far the best part of the team heading into the bye week.