Lots of factors during spring practice held Tennessee football back. Obviously, the Vols were learning a brand new system on both sides of the ball. They weren’t at full strength either, which made gauging the performances of everybody involved that much harder. Oh, and there was a rotation of players leaving and transferring in during that time.
Still, even with all of that, spring practice has to count for something, and we were able to learn a few things about the program during that time. Certain players and position groups stood out, not just in the spring game, but throughout that period from April to May.
In this post, we’re going to rank all the position groups based on their performance in spring ball. This does not take into account who was hurt at each position and who will arrive later. We’ll have another separate projected ranking of position groups before the season. But based on what we’ve seen from Tennessee football’s spring practices, here’s how they stack up now.
10. Defensive line
This can be explained to a certain degree. The Vols were limited on the defensive line throughout spring ball, with players like LaTrell Bumphus being banged up most of the time. However, that doesn’t change the fact that throughout the spring, this unit was by far the worst performing unit on a consistent basis.
There was one open scrimmage, and it was blatantly clear that day that the defensive line was the worst unit. Nobody ever stood out from the line or even got shoutout in any interviews with any of the coaches either, meaning it truly did struggle. Freshman Isaac Washington being suspended and then transferring while KaTron Evans was let out of his letter of intent didn’t help.
Now, there are some saving graces. As we mentioned, the group wasn’t fully healthy, and many of them missed the spring game. Two new transfers are coming in, Caleb Tremblay from the USC Trojans and Da’Jon Terry from the Kansas Jayhawks, to increase the depth as well. Speaking of Tennessee football’s spring game, this wasn’t even the worst unit that day either.