1. Princeton Fant
Austin Pope’s retirement threw this unit for a loop. Tennessee football’s top tight end outside of him was Princeton Fant, who actually led all tight ends in receiving last year with 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Even if Pope were going to play, Fant would have been the top receiving tight end on the team.
The 6’2″ 240-pound fifth-year senior is in a great position to have a breakout season. Fant spent his first two years at UT as a running back and then experimented at linebacker before moving to tight end. Now, with more experience under his belt, look for him to be a star, and if he mastered the blocking technique of the position, his potential is through the roof.
2. Jacob Warren
Even with Fant’s development, Josh Heupel needs a true blocking tight end on the depth chart. With Pope gone, Jacob Warren is next in line to take that title. The 6’6″ 246-pound redshirt junior now comes with lots of expectations given the transfers of Jackson Lowe and Sean Brown.
Although Miles Campbell and Trinity Bell could both work their way into this rotation, Warren is the one with the most experienced. He also can be a receiving tight end, which Heupel’s passing offense will need, as he caught six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown last year. This season, he’ll back up Fant and he could be in line to start in 2022.