If there’s one thing we know about Josh Heupel’s offense, it’s that skill players in that system will have plenty of opportunities to win postseason awards. Tennessee football may not win many games this year, but it’s a safe bet that plenty of offensive players will emerge and draw national attention because of the system they are playing in.
At the college level, schemes and systems have as much to do with a player winning postseason awards as anything. As we get set to look at the Vols in the best position to earn All-SEC, All-American and individual honors this year, we’re going to take that into account.
Of course, usage rate in general is the friendliest stat to earning recognition. We’ll take that into account as well, and we’ll also factor in preseason hype and general talent. All of these things come into play when it comes to such honors. Taking that into account, let’s go ahead and break down the 10 Tennessee football players most likely to receive postseason recognition in 2021.
6’2″ 235 pounds; Hometown: Bainbridge, Ga.
It’s still hard to figure out exactly what the Vols will do with their edge rushers this year, as that all depends on the scheme Tim Banks decides to run. Will they be outside linebackers or play up on the line as fourth defensive ends? How Banks utilizes them will go a long way towards whether or not they are in the running for postseason recognition.
If Roman Harrison gets to play off the line again, he’ll be in great position to win one. Harrison was effective each of the past two years as a reserve, coming away with two sacks each season plus a third tackle for a loss last year. Again, that’s all in limited action.
With Deandre Johnson and Kivon Bennett gone, the graduate of Bainbridge High School in Georgia’s Decatur County is likely to see lots more action this year, and if Banks lines him up right, he could rack up lots of stats. Harrison may not be Tennessee football’s most valuable defender, but he’s in a great position to stand out.