Junior; 5’9″ 185 pounds
Quarterbacks may be Lane Kiffin’s speciality, but what he really does is find a couple of weapons plus a quarterback to build his offense around. Then he uses those elite players to his advantage as much as possible. Tennessee football fans know that all too well.
More from All for Tennessee
- How to Win a GUARANTEED $200 Bonus Betting Just $5 on the Vols vs. Florida!
- Tennessee Football at Florida: Five Keys to a Vols Victory
- Week 3 SEC Power Rankings: Did Tennessee Football’s Win Help At All?
- Week 3 AP Polls: Why Did Tennessee Football Drop in the Polls?
- Tennessee Football: Top Five Performers in 30-13 Win vs. Austin Peay
Jerrion Ealy is that player this year. As an all-purpose player on offense, Ealy had 900 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns last year. He had 147 carries for 745 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns to go along with 15 catches for 155 yards and another touchdown. Kiffin continuously found ways to get him the ball, and he and Matt Corral make up an elite backfield.
However, Ealy is more noteworthy for what he does on special teams. In each of the past two years, he has run back a kickoff for a touchdown. Last year, he averaged 28.9 yards per kickoff return. For his career, he is averaging 26.3 yards per kickoff return.
Simply put, Ealy is a superstar with the ball in his hands. Despite his relatively small frame, there is always a way to use him. We mentioned Tyler Badie as a rising star earlier, but Ealy is the benchmark for Badie. Both are elite all-purpose backs who just need the ball in open space to be able to do what they can do.
Because of his proven talents, Ealy is easily the top player Tennessee football needs to account for this year. The Vols have plenty of elite players they will face off against throughout the season in league play, but none will stand out like this guy.