4. Rebuilding depth in the trenches
There are lots of concerns facing Tennessee football’s future, particularly with all the transfers we discussed, but by and large, Jeremy Pruitt did a great job rebuilding the depth up front for the Vols. Thanks to Pruitt’s focuses on recruiting, UT will be able to go eight-deep with quality scholarship players he specifically signed this year on the offensive line.
That includes talent like Jerome Carvin, Darnell Wright and Cooper Mays, and he also secured Cade Mays’ transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs. Sure, Wanya Morris and Jahmir Johnson have transferred away, but Pruitt still left the offensive line in decent shape.
On defense, Pruitt brought in Michigan Wolverines transfer Aubrey Solomon along with Kurrott Garland, Greg Emerson, Darel Middleton and Savion Williams. Now, Emerson, Middleton and Williams have transferred, but it was largely due to the success of Solomon and Garland.
As for the future, Omari Thomas, Elijah Simmons and Dominic Bailey are still with the program. Josh Heupel clearly has more work to do to keep this rotation going, but defensive tackle and offensive line are two spots not seriously hurting for depth this year, even if offensive line needs more unproven talent to step up. That’s a testament to Pruitt.