Analyst: Tennessee football has top five OL for 2020

Cole Cubelic of ESPN loves the Tennessee football Volunteers offensive line.

It’s crazy how good of a job Jeremy Pruitt has done of rebuilding the Tennessee football offensive line. In his first season, the Vols were historically bad up front, which was why their 2018 team finished the year 5-7.

UT struggled early last year as well. However, down the stretch, they found their rotation under new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and became very reliable. Now, heading into this year, SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic beleives they have a top five offensive line nationally.

Cubelic had Tennessee football’s line ranked at No. 4, with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively. He had the Oklahoma Sooners at No. 5 and put his list out on Twitter.

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There are numerous reasons for the hype behind the Vols’ offensive line. For starters, they have their left tackle and right tackle set in Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright. Morris was a freshman All-American, and Wright was also a true freshman who began to shine late.

Then key other guys from last year’s rotation are back, including Jerome Carvin, Jahmir Johnson, K’Rojhn Calbert and Riley Locklear. These guys altogether would be fine. But the crazy part is the interior unit.

Two-time All-SEC guard Trey Smith shocked the world when he decided to return for his senior season. Brandon Kennedy was granted a sixth year of eligibility at center. Finally, in the offseason, superstar Georgia Bulldogs guard Cade Mays transferred to UT and expects to receive an eligibility waiver from the NCAA to play this year.

Now, consider the fact that both Kennedy and Smith failed to finish the 2018 season due to injuries. Morris and Wright were obviously in high school at that point. All of them were the starters down the stretch of last year, and it’s becoming easy to see why the unit could be so much better than it was initially when Pruitt took over.

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Of all the reasons to be excited about Tennessee football, this one stands out. The Vols’ starters could include two five-stars, two more players who were once freshman All-Americans and a sixth-year senior in the middle. All of a sudden, it becomes pretty clear why there is hype behind this group.