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Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in Camp


5. Wide receiver

Marquez North-1-2

This position is a strength, a weakness and a huge question mark all tied into one. Confused? So are we, somewhat. It’s difficult to get a great feel for this group, which was ranked as the second-best in the SEC heading into this year by Lindy’s, but also clearly must find a way to stay healthy and consistent in 2015. If they stay healthy, the Vols have to feel pretty good with the trio of Marquez North, Pig Howard and Josh Smith at the top of the depth chart. Jason Croom, Josh Malone and Johnathon Johnson are players with varying skill sets that have shown flashes in the past as well. Those six should all have a spot in the rotation. But there are personnel questions too. Will Preston Williams get cleared academically and medically at any point in camp? Is there any chance Von Pearson returns to the team? Can a surprise name like Jauan Jennings, Vincent Perry, Malik Foreman (who will begin at DB but could see reps at WR), Cody Blanc or Adrian Gamble step in and help out in the rotation? There are spots in the starting lineup and the rotation to be earned in camp. It’s hard to say exactly how this position will shake out.

What Butch Jones says on WR depth: “That’s one of the areas we’re concerned with. That’s why, not only with those two, but Jason Croom and Josh Smith, we have to do a great job of really managing them, and making sure that they don’t do too much early. Both of those individuals are very prideful. They’re going to want to compete in every single period and go there, and we have to do a great job as coaches, which we will, of managing them. That’s why Jauan Jennings comes into play, and that’s why Malik Foreman is still in the consideration for playing that position as well.”


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