1. Tiyon Evans
Although he was limited in the spring, Tiyon Evans is Tennessee football’s most experienced complete running back. Josh Heupel’s system works best with two running backs, one of whom can be a power back, and Evans, a junior college transfer at 5’11” 220 pounds, fits that mold.
With a four-star rating in both 247Sports and ESPN, expectations are high for Evans, who will be a junior when he takes the field in the Fall. Expect him to be the most commonly used feature back in the system and to handle most of the running plays.
2. Jabari Small
UT’s most prominent rusher in the spring and its only returning producer at running back, Jabari Small had 26 carries for 117 yards and four catches for 24 yards last year. He also had two touchdowns in the spring game.
At 5’11” 206 pounds, Small will likely be the all-purpose back in Heupel’s system. He should be able to complement what Evans does and make more plays in open space. With more experience, look for him to be the explosive guy.
3. Jaylen Wright
Usually, Heupel will run three receivers, a running back and a tight end. However, his system often sacrifices the receiver for a utility player, which will be Jaylen Wright. The 5’11” 200-pound true freshman took part in spring ball and, while he has a lot to learn to be a true running back, he’s great on designed plays given his elite speed. Heupel will utilize that, so we put him on here.