5’11” 220 pounds
Going back to a junior college player, it’s no secret Tennessee football is looking for new running backs. Eric Gray and Ty Chandler, last year’s top two offensive producers, transferred to the Oklahoma Sooners and North Carolina Tar Heels respectively. Then Cody Brown, a four-star in this class, was let out of his letter of intent when Josh Heupel was hired.
That leaves a true freshman speed back in Jaylen Wright, two power backs in Dee Beckwith and Len’Neth Whitehead, only one returning back with any experience at UT from last year in Jabari Small, who is more of an all-purpose back, and Tiyon Evans, who comes after attending junior college in Kansas. By default, Evans could be a key player.
The graduate of Hartsville High School in South Carolina’s Darlington County who then went to Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan. is the one complete back on the roster. Heupel’s system usually relies on at least one such running back.
Evans was limited in spring ball, but expectations for him have been on the rise ever since the fall began. It’s likely he and Small become a key two-back set, but Evans will get his carries and likely make a huge impact for the Vols, which is why he makes this list.
Other offensive skill players like tight end Jacob Warren and wide receivers Ramel Keyton and Cedric Tillman are juniors who could have made this list. However, Evans is likely to see more touches than them this year.