1. Joshua Dobbs
College football isn’t quite the quarterback-driven league that the NFL is, but having a quality signal caller greatly increases your chances of success. Dobbs ignited Tennessee’s offense at the end of 2014. It wasn’t just the plays that he made with arm and feet – it’s that he made everybody better. The offensive line looked better as Dobbs ducked and dodged his way out of harm’s way. The running backs had more space with defenders honoring the QB keeper. And receivers and tight ends had more time to get open as he scrambled around and bought them more opportunities to shake free.
The hype for Dobbs is pretty enormous heading into 2015. Some odds have put him in the top 15 or so for the Heisman. He doesn’t even have to be that good for the Vols to have success. If he can do what he did at the end of 2014, continue to progress as a passer and lead the team like he’s capable of, there’s your No. 1 reason for optimism.