Despite losing few players, Tennessee football lost lots of production. This is our ranking of the 10 Volunteers they will miss the most.
Normally, a program loses at least a dozen key players due to graduation and a couple more due to transfers. Then one like Tennessee football would lose a few more with guys choosing to forgo their senior seasons and entering the NFL Draft.
However, the Vols had no early departures into the draft this year, and they were really thin on scholarship seniors. That may hurt their standing in the draft, but it helps them going into next year, when Jeremy Pruitt returns a ton of talent.
What’s clear, though, is the players Tennessee football lost, whether it was to graduation or transfer, were often key players on the team last year. It was actually crazy how significant of an impact so few players had, but that’s what veteran leadership does.
As we get set to rank the toughest Vols Pruitt has to replace this year, it’ll be very clear that the top five are all going to be extremely tough. UT has talent waiting in the wings behind them, but they amounted to almost all the production in the program last year.
Our criteria for these rankings obviously takes a player’s talent and production into account. However, it also accounts for their experience, leadership, and the amount of depth behind them. That last part is a big deal.
Guys who left the team in the middle of last season, such as Will Ignont, Shanon Reid and Jordan Murphy, don’t factor into this list, no matter when they left. However, that does not mean anybody who left is ineligible. We already said offseason transfers can can count.
So factoring all that into play, let’s analyze just what Pruitt will have to deal with later this year, assuming everything returns to normal amid the coronavirus outbreak. These are the 10 players Tennessee football will have the toughest time trying to replace.