There are a lot of new faces for Tennessee football this year, and Josh Heupel will probably rely on a lot of them to have a successful inaugural season on Rocky Top. However, he’ll also have to rely on returning talent, and despite all the players who hit the transfer portal, there are plenty of players coming back this year with lots of experience.
When it comes to the junior class on Rocky Top this year, there are players who fit both bills. Heupel has some new talent via junior college and the portal, but there are quite a few returning players with experience who bring a lot to the table as well.
As we get set to analyze the juniors who will be key to UT’s success this year, we’ll be taking both of those factors into account. Just like we did with sophomores, redshirt juniors and true juniors will both be eligible for this list. Let’s go ahead and dive in knowing those facts. These are the top five Tennessee football juniors entering the 2021 season.
6’3″ 243 pounds
Yes, we start with a junior college prospect. There are plenty of linebackers and edge rushers who could fit this bill. Roman Harrison is a rising star at edge rusher, and Jeremy Banks and Aaron Beasley both could fill a key void at inside linebacker. However, Byron Young has been the guy to stand out throughout the offseason.
The graduate of Carvers Bay High School in Hemingway, S.C. had his name called out a lot in spring ball. He hasn’t missed a beat in fall camp, and all signs point to him standing out as one of the key edge rushers on Rocky Top this fall.
Young went from South Carolina to Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga., so he’s got some experience at the college level. That should help him this year, and he could become another junior college star for Tennessee football. Look for he and Tyler Baron to become a dynamic duo on either side rushing the quarterback.