Tennessee football is losing their top 2 wide receivers to the NFL, who will step up in their place?
Both Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt declared for the NFL draft and will be leaving vacant holes in the Volunteer offense. Obviously, those are not the only two players the Vols offense will miss, but it’s important to take a deeper look at the Volunteers’ wide receiver room going into next year.
What will Tennessee football’s new WR big 3 look like?
It appears to me that Bru McCoy and Squirrel White will be the Volunteers’ top two starting receivers for the 2023 season, but who will be the third?
The 6’3 Junior transfer from USC, Bru McCoy will be returning to the Volunteers for his senior year as the likely WR1. Bru had 52 receptions, 667 yards, and 4 touchdowns last season for the Volunteers. I think that his role will continue to grow as he comes into a second year under head coach Josh Heupel and the Tennessee offense.
Next, we move on to the WR2 spot. Last year for the Vols, when Jalin Hyatt declared for the draft and opted out of the Orange Bowl, the freshman Squirrel White made a name for himself, he tallied up 9 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. It looked like both Squirrel White and Joe Milton had been playing together for years. I think that’s enough to secure him at the No. 2 spot, and I see the rising sophomore becoming a big role for this Tennessee offense. Furthermore, According to 247 Sports, the rising sophomore wide receiver is being listed as a “potential rising superstar.” There is nothing but good things coming from Squirrel and I am excited to see him play to his full potential.
Now, we have to wonder who the WR3 will be for this upcoming season. In my opinion, there are two options. First, Ramel Keyton, who stepped up last year for the Vols and had 31 receptions, 562 yards, and 5 touchdowns. However, he hadn’t done anything before this past season, so it will be interesting to see the battle between him and who I think is the other option.
Finally, we get to the transfer WR from Oregon Dont’e Thornton. Dont’e will be coming to the Vols next year as a 6’5 200-pound Junior. As a Sophomore this past season, Dont’e had a good season with 17 receptions, 366 yards, and 1 touchdown. He will be a good addition to the Volunteer wide receiver room. Dont’e is an incredible deep threat, and if we have learned one thing from Joe Milton, it’s that he can certainly throw the ball far. Dont’e was a 4-star in the class of 2021 and ranked 57th nationally. He is by far, one of the most talented players in the portal.