9. Defensive tackle
One defensive tackle position is likely locked up with Aubrey Solomon. You would think that combined with the fact that Greg Emerson and Darel Middleton have both entered the transfer portal would mean that the other defensive tackle position is locked up as well. However, this is where Josh Heupel came through in the portal himself.
Tennessee football added USC Trojans transfer Caleb Tremblay and Kansas Jayhawks transfer Da’Jon Terry during the offseason. Both of them have a chance to take the other starting spot in the middle even with Kurott Garland returning at the position.
Don’t count out returning ends who played up on the line last year moving to the middle either. Matthew Butler and LaTrell Bumphus are both north of 290 pounds, so if one of them wins that end spot, the other could easily take a tackle spot.
Simply put, there are lots of guys who can work their way into the rotation this year, and Solomon is the only player certain to be in there, assuming he doesn’t get hurt. The Vols had lots of turmoil at defensive tackle last year, but with SEC veteran Rodney Garner now running the show, fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about this position and the experience it has.