Do the Vols Have Most Talented Roster in the SEC East?

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    Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

    Recruiting rankings are a tricky thing. Scouts and analysts do their best to get a feel for a recruit’s true potential and rate them how they feel is most accurate. But many times those rankings prove to be wrong, and a recruit out-performs them or turns out to be a bust and fails to live up to those rankings.

    With that in mind, take the following information with a slight grain of salt. Rankings are a great way to judge a roster on paper, but production matters more.

    Before we get started, I want to thank Eric Quisenberry (@EricQuiz2096 on Twitter) for help on this article. He reached out to me and said he had done some research on the two-deep rosters of some SEC schools and thought I would find it interesting. And he was right; I found it interesting. Eric took the two-deep depth charts from Ourlads.com (which is updated with players who have and haven’t left programs) and compared them to what the players were rated on Rivals.com.

    So a big “thank you” to Eric for compiling all the data. I’m just the one putting it in an article.

    According to Eric’s data, the Vols have the most talented roster in the SEC East for this upcoming season.

    On Tennessee’s two-deep depth chart projections, there are four five-stars, 24 four-stars, and 16 three-stars. By applying a numerical value to each category (a 5 for each five-star, a 4 for each four-star, a 3 for each three-star, a 2 for each two-star, and no points for any unranked players), that gives Tennessee a score of 164 for their two-deep. No other SEC East school has a higher score.

    Georgia’s two-deep has six five-stars, 20 four-stars, and 16 three-stars. That gives them a total score of 158 by those calculations. Florida, on the other hand, has two five-stars, 21 four-stars, 16 three-stars, three two-stars, and two unranked players in their two-deep. Florida ends up with a score of 148 based on those numbers.

    It’s close, but by those calculations, the Vols have the most talented roster in the SEC East heading into this season.

    Of course, having talent is one thing. Coaching up said talent is another thing entirely, and some Vol fans would argue that’s been the issue the past couple years. But with almost an entirely new coaching staff on the sidelines this season, the Vols could be poised now more than ever to take advantage of the talent on the roster.

    The talent split is fairly even when it comes to Tennessee’s offense and defense, but the defense has more highly-rated players overall. The Vols have one five-star, 12 four-stars, and nine three-stars in their two-deep on offense and three five-stars, 12 four-stars, and six three-stars on defense according to the data.

    All the SEC East’s rosters pale in comparison to Alabama’s, however. Eric calculated their two-deep as well, and it blows away the “big three” of the East. The Tide have 14 five-stars (more than Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia combined), 22 four-stars, seven three-stars, and one two-star on their two-deep. That gives them a score of 181, a full 16 points higher than the Vols.

    Tennessee also has the most experienced roster in the East this season based on average class age. The Vols’ average class for their offensive starters and backups is a junior, and their average class for their defensive starters and backups is also a junior. A lot of those two and three-year players, however, don’t have as much experience as one would assume at first glance, however.

    Florida’s average is a junior for both starting units on offense and defense and a sophomore for their backup units. Georgia’s reserves all average out to be sophomores, but their starting defense’s average class is a senior and their starting offense’s average is a junior.

    All this data means that the Vols, according to rankings from Rivals.com, have the most talented and oldest roster in the SEC East. That information means little until the teams hit the field, however, but it’s worth noting right now in the offseason.

    If you want a look at Eric’s numberes, here’s the hard data he provided me:

    Florida 2 Deep Roster – http://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football…/florida/90498

    Offense
    Wr –4* Jr, 4* SR, 4* SO starters, Three 4* Back ups
    TE –4* SR starter, 3* JR back up
    T – 3* SO, 5* JR starters, 3* So, 4* So back ups
    – 2* SO transfer Starter, 3* JR back up
    – U/R JR, 3* JR starters, 3* So 3* SO back ups
    RB – 4* JR starter, 4* So Back up
    QB – 4* FR or 4* Transfer

    Defense
    DE– 5* Jr, 3* SO starters, 2* JR 4* SR back ups
    DT– 4* Jr, 3* Jr starters, 4* So 4* SO back ups
    LB – 3* SO 3* SO 3* SO Starters, U/R Senior 3* Jr 3* SO back ups (WOOF)
    CB – 4* Sr 4* So starters, 4* So 2* SO back ups
    – 4* SR 4* SR starters, 3* So 3* SO back ups

    Totals
    Offense starters – 1 5*, 6 4*’s, 2 3*, 1 2*, 1 U/R (average grade JR) –
    Offense backups – 6 4*, 5 3* (average grade SO)
    Defense starters – 1 5*, 5 4*s, 5 3*s (average grade JR)
    Defense backups – 4 4*’s, 4 3*’s, 2 2*’s, 1 U/R (average grade SO)

    Tennessee 2 Deep Roster – http://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football…e/91993Offense
    Wr –4* Jr, 4* SO, 4* SO starters, 4* SR 3* SR 3*SO
    TE –3* SR starter, 3* SR back up
    T – 3* JR, 5* SO starters, 3* SR, 3* So back ups
    – 4* SR Starter, 3* SR back up
    – 4* FR, 4* JR starters, 4* So 4* SO back ups
    RB – 3* JR starter, 4* FR Back up
    QB – 4* JR starter 4* FR backupDefense
    DE– 5* Jr, 4* SO starters, 5* JR 3* SO back up
    DT– 5* Jr, 3* SR starters, 4* JR 3* JR back ups
    LB – 4* JR 4* SO starter, 3* SR 4* SO back ups
    NB – 4* JR starter, 3* SO Back Up
    CB – 4* Sr 4* SR starters, 4* So 3* SR back ups
    S – 4* SR 4* SO starters, 3* JR 4* SR back upsTotals
    Offense starters – 1 5*, 6 4*’s, 3 3* (average grade –JR)
    Offense backups – 5 4*, 6 3* (average grade -JR)
    Defense starters – 2 5*, 8 4*s, 1 3* (average grade JR)
    Defense backups – 1 5*, 4 4*’s, 6 3*’s (average grade JR)

    Georgia 2 Deep Roster – http://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football…ennessee/91993

    Offense
    Wr –5* Jr, 4* SR, 4* SO starters, 3* JR 3* JR 4*FR
    TE –4* SO starter, 4* SR back up
    T – 4* SR, 3* SR starters, 5* FR, 4* JR back ups
    – 3* JR Starter, None (Starting Guard Listed as back up)
    G – 4* SR, 3* FR starters, 4* So U/R* SO back ups
    RB– 4* SR starter, 5* SR Back up
    QB – 5* SO starter 5* FR backup

    Defense
    DE– 4* Jr, 4* SR starters, 4* JR 3* SO back up
    DT– 5* Jr, 3* SR starters, 4* SO 3* JR back ups
    LB – 4* JR 4* JR, 3* SR starter, 3* SR 3* FR, 4* FR back ups
    CB – 4* Sr 3* SR starters, 3* So 4* FR back ups
    S – 3* SR 3* SR starters, 3* JR 4* FR back ups

    Totals
    Offense starters – 2 5*, 6 4*’s, 3 3* (average grade –JR)
    Offense backups – 3 5*’s, 4 4*, 2 3*, 2 U/R (average grade -SO)
    Defense starters – 1 5*, 5 4*s, 5 3* (average grade SR)
    Defense backups –5 4*’s, 6 3*’s (average grade SO)

    All together.
    TN
    Offense starters – 2 5*, 6 4*’s, 3 3* (average grade –JR)
    Offense backups – 5 4*, 6 3* (average grade -JR)
    Defense starters – 2 5*, 8 4*s, 1 3* (average grade JR)
    Defense backups – 1 5*, 4 4*’s, 6 3*’s (average grade JR)FL
    Offense starters – 1 5*, 6 4*’s, 2 3*, 1 2*, 1 U/R (average grade JR) –
    Offense backups – 6 4*, 5 3* (average grade SO)
    Defense starters – 1 5*, 5 4*s, 5 3*s (average grade JR)
    Defense backups – 4 4*’s, 4 3*’s, 2 2*’s, 1 U/R (average grade SO)GA
    Offense starters – 2 5*, 6 4*’s, 3 3* (average grade –JR)
    Offense backups – 3 5*’s, 4 4*, 2 3*, 2 U/R (average grade -SO)
    Defense starters – 1 5*, 5 4*s, 5 3* (average grade SR)
    Defense backups –5 4*’s, 6 3*’s (average grade SO)

    Alabama 2 Deep Roster – http://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football…/alabama/89923

    Offense
    Wr –4* SR, 5*JR, 4* SR starters, 5* FR 4* SO 3*JR
    TE –3* SO starter, 3* JR back up
    – 5* SO, 3* SO starters, 5* JR, 3* FR back ups
    C – 4* SR Starter, 4* SR Back up
    – 4* JR, 4* JR starters, 4* JR 3* JR back ups
    RB – 5* JR starter, 5* JR Back up
    QB – 4* SO starter 4* FR backup

    Defense
    DE– 5* SR, 4* SR starters, 4* FR 5* JR back up
    NG- 5* Jr starter, 4* SO back ups
    Jack – 4* SO Starter, 5* SO back up
    LB – 5* SR 4* SR, 4* JR starter, 3* JR 5* FR 2* JR back ups
    CB – 5* Sr 4* SO starters, 4* SO 4* FR back ups
    S – 5* JR 4* JR starters, 4* SO 4* SR back ups

    Totals
    Offense starters –3 5*’s 6 4*’s, 2 3* (average grade –JR)
    Offense backups –3 5*’s, 4 4*, 4 3*’s (average grade –JR/SO)
    Defense starters –5 5*’s, 6 4*s (average grade JR/SR)
    Defense backups –3 5*’s 6 4*’s, 1 3*’s, 1 2* (average grade SO)