Despite quarterback generating the biggest news, linebacker is the most interesting story. Tennessee football has a completely different unit there not just from last year but from what the Vols had in the spring.
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Henry To’o To’o, Quavaris Crouch and J.J. Peterson all transferred in the offseason. Peterson is still in the portal, but To’o To’o and Crouch joined the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans respectively. Meanwhile, Martavious French transferred during the spring after he was suspended due to an off-field incident.
That incident also resulted in the suspension of Aaron Willis, a star true freshman linebacker. Aaron Beasley, another linebacker was suspended for a different reason. Simply put, the unit was depleted. Only Solon Page III, Jeremy Banks and Kwauze Garland seriously competed for the job.
Now, though, they are joined by lots more talent. Willis and Beasley are back. Texas Longhorns transfer Juwan Mitchell was a splash addition for Heupel and the Vols over the summer. Michigan Wolverines transfer William Mohan also adds depth. Morven Joseph appears to be settled in as a linebacker despite being a potential edge rusher when recruited.
Now, there is lots of talent at linebacker for Tennessee football. Who wins the job, though, depends on the scheme Tim Banks runs as much as who stands out. Again, a 4-3, 4-2-5 or 3-4 could impact a lot about how this race goes. It’s the most crucial one in fall camp, though.