6’5″ 260 pounds; Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
We actually could have had Tyler Baron higher on this list. However, the depth chart officially had him and Byron Young splitting time as co-starters at one defensive end spot with Ja’Quain Blakely locking up the other spot. As a result, the local kid who graduated from Knox County’s Knoxville Catholic High School is a bit lower on the list.
Still, Baron is destined for a breakout year with Tennessee football. Last year, as a true freshman reserve, he still managed three tackles for a loss, a sack and 21 overall tackles, 13 of which were solo. That seemed like just a taste of what’s to come.
Tim Banks looks like he’ll run his nickel-heavy 4-3 scheme this year, so Baron is likely to play up on the line, which will make him key to stopping the run as well as being the premiere pass rusher on the team. He and Young both have that responsbility.
Roman Harrison is backing them up, and if he were named the starter, he would have been the guy on here. Both showed potential, but with Baron getting the nod and being a proven returner from last year, he’s the one edge rusher who made this list.