Most exciting position groups to watch in 2024 Orange & White Game

Tennessee football is preparing for its annual Orange & White Game so here are the most exciting position groups to watch on Saturday.
Tennessee wide receiver Chris Brazzell II (11) during UT's first spring football practice on Monday,
Tennessee wide receiver Chris Brazzell II (11) during UT's first spring football practice on Monday, / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA

Josh Heupel is entering his fourth Orange & White Game as the Tennessee football head coach. He has brought a fast-paced, high-powered offense to Rocky Top and has changed the football program for the better.

He is also preparing to coach his third starting quarterback in four years, as Nico Iamaleava is taking over the offense. Nico is entering his second season at Tennessee after spending the first year using his redshirt and learning behind veteran Joe Milton.

Fans will likely focus on the quarterback position as they are ready to see more of Nico. The last time we saw him was the first meaningful action he played all last season. In that game, Nico went 12-for-19 for 151 yards and one touchdown. He also had 27 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

While Nico will have all eyes on him, other position groups on offense and defense could catch your eye. Here are a few that could be the most exciting to watch throughout Saturday's Orange & White Game.

Wide Receivers

The wide receiver room is stacked this year. There's a nice mix of big, strong receivers and more agile and speed-focused receivers. Nico will have plenty of options this Fall, but they are still trying to sort out where they will fall in the depth chart as the Spring practice window comes to a close.

Between the returning starters Bru McCoy and Squirrel White mixed with transfer Chris Brazzell and freshmen Braylon Staley and Mike Matthews, there could be a lot of different lineups put together for the spring game to mix and match each play style with a different quarterback.

McCoy has been spending a lot of time throughout spring practice working off to the side as he continues to recover from his injury. He might not be ready to go 100% for the Spring game, which could open the door for another receiver to show out.

The Vols' ability to create explosive plays through great receiver play should be on showcase again this Spring. Tennessee also had to rebuild their secondary, which seems to be improved on paper, so we will have to see how the new group of receivers perform against the mostly new secondary.


The next group is an interesting mix of young guys and older transfers coming in to hold down the middle of the field. Keenan Pili comes from the portal, while Arion Carter is in year two and looking to solidify his starting spot after a positive freshman year. Then you have Juniors Kalib Perry and Elijah Herring also battling for playing time.

Linebacker coach William Inge has also been in the spotlight this week, taking the podium to detail his opinions of spring practice so far and his coaching style. Inge was a big hire for the Vols this offseason, and it looks like it's paying off. Under Inge's leadership, the LB corps is one of the tightest position groups on the team.

The LB room's player-led mentality has led to the older guys, like Pili, taking charge, coaching the younger guys, and leading group meetings. It is not unique for many great defenses to have something like this, so seeing how they gel and play in the spring game will be interesting.

OL vs DL

This year, Tennessee should have one of the best lines on both sides of the ball in the SEC. The Vols are returning a lot of talent while continuing to add pieces and depth through the transfer portal. The offensive line vs. defensive line battle should be the best and most fun battle to watch on Saturday.

The Vols are returning a lot of great talent up front on defense. Between James Pearce and Omari Thomas, the Vols should be able to create havoc in the trenches for opposing offensive lines. They also have Joshua Josephs, Omarr Norman-Lott, Elijah Simmons, and Dominic Bailey returning to compete for reps. Throw in Jaxson Moi from the transfer portal, and you will have a loaded DL room.

On the opposite side of the line, Tennessee is returning a few starters again this year. John Campbell, Cooper Mays, and Javontez Spraggins are returning for one more season, along with Jackson Lampley, who also brings some playing experience. The Vols also dipped into the portal and signed Lance Heard from LSU to round out the front five.

We might not see all of these players in the Spring game, but it will be fun to watch most of them battle it out up front and see who has the upper hand at the end of the day. The big guys up front don't always get the attention they deserve, but due to their experience and performance, they will likely draw some eyes this year.

Next. Freshmen and transfers to watch in 2024 Orange & White Game. Freshmen and transfers to watch in 2024 Orange & White Game. dark

The Tennessee Orange & White Game is this Saturday, April 13, at 1:00 p.m. ET on SEC Network+. Due to ongoing construction, the game has been limited to 10,000 tickets, but there will be something for everyone in Vol Village if you still want to make the trip to campus and enjoy the spring festivities.