Fall camp is underway. Tennessee football hasn’t had this much excitement entering a head coach’s second season since the second Lane Kiffin year that never happened. They never made it past January for that one. This time, as they enter another campaign under Josh Heupel, the range of possibilities is pretty large.
Will UT take a step back from its 7-6 inaugural year under Heupel? Could they miss a bowl? Is it possible that they win as many as 11 games? All of these things are on the table for 2022 as they kickoff August practices in preparation for their opener against the Ball State Cardinals.
There are things to address in fall camp before that, though. Beyond the NCAA investigation, which Heupel said there were no updates on Sunday, personnel issues on the field have to be overcome if Rocky Top is to truly take that next step. Let’s take a look at that and the standout Tennessee football storylines right now.
These are the biggest questions surrounding the Tennessee football Volunteers entering Josh Heupel’s second fall camp.
5. Did spring practice address some of the open position battles?
Breaking down the position battles will be a separate story on its own. However, in a generic sense, many of these began in spring practice. Many of the units had everybody during spring ball that would be competing for one of the openings left by players who are now gone, and Heupel seemed to get a good look at them.
For instance, at slot receiver, he has been touting Jalin Hyatt all offseason since spring ball. Does that mean Hyatt has locked up the slot and that’s no longer a position battle? It’s possible, and that may not be the only position where something like that happened this offseason.
Despite lots of returning talent, Tennessee football has quite a few voids to fill before the season starts, and having some of them solved earlier rather than later helps so Heupel can go ahead and get his first-team reps in with those guys. Whether or not they did could have an underrated impact on how the season plays out.