5 Vols Primed to Step Up in SEC Play

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    Dillon Bates-1-3

     Linebacker Dillon Bates

    The quality of play at linebacker has been one of the strengths of the teams through three games. But the Vols need more quantity – specifically they need some depth behind A.J. Johnson and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, both of whom have played exceptionally well, but have also played too much, according to Jones. Bates got in for a few plays of relief at Oklahoma, but he needs to get to a point where the coaches feel comfortable putting him in for an entire drive or two to give the other LBs a break. Bates can also expand his role on special teams – another place that Jones is looking to get more and more youngsters on the field.

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