One of the biggest storylines this spring will be the development of Tennessee redshirt junior Jonathan Kongbo, who emerged late last season as a force on the defensive line.
Due to Tennessee’s lack of depth at defensive tackle as the 2016 season went on, the Vols were forced to move the former five-star junior college recruit from defensive end to defensive tackle, a move he seemed to take some time to embrace before settling in for the final few games of the season.
Now, down approximately 20 pounds, he’ll be returning to his more natural position this spring, according to a report from WNML-FM’s Jimmy Hyams.
Tennessee’s Jonathan Kongbo will play DE this spring. He has lost from almost 280 pounds to a chiseled 260. Played DT late last year
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) March 17, 2017
With Derek Barnett, Corey Vereen and LaTroy Lewis all moving on, Kongbo should get plenty of opportunities to step into an even bigger role on the defensive line in 2017. He should also get plenty of reps this spring with several defensive linemen out or limited due to injury or attrition for new defensive line coach Brady Hoke.
Defensive linemen Charles Mosley and Dimarya Mixon recently left the program, while defensive tackle Shy Tuttle is expected to miss the spring due to injury. Kahlil McKenzie, Austin Smith, Kendal Vickers and Kyle Phillips are among the D-linemen expected to be at least limited this spring.
The Vols open spring practice on Tuesday, March 21.