Every Friday, a member of the RTI team will post a top-10 list. Many will be directly related to UT athletics, but some will veer off course a bit. Obviously these will all be subjective in nature, a bit ridiculous at times and subject to a lot opinion and discussion.
This is at least my third year to put this list of the best individual players Tennessee is schedule to face together, and it’s always one of my favorites. Completely surrounded by Tennessee camp this month, it’s fun to step back, look around the SEC and see which individual players will provide the biggest challenge for the Vols on their schedule in 2015.
I also enjoy it because it creates conversation and often some argument. It’s tough to please everybody. Playing in the SEC week in and week out means plenty of stars will be on the opposing sideline. Throw in another powerhouse out-of-conference opponent, which the Vols have had on their schedule the past few years, and it makes the task of narrowing the list down to 10 extremely difficult.
Conspicuously absent this year is the quarterback position. There are some guys on UT’s schedule who could have decent seasons and/or put up a good performance against the Vols, but when I weighed that against some of the backs, receivers, linemen and defenders on the schedule, no quarterbacks made the top 10. It’ll be interesting to see if any can prove me wrong this year.
I used a combination of factors – past performance in general, NFL potential, accolades and their specific matchup with the Vols – to rank these guys. Again, it’s an inexact science, and I’m sure you wouldn’t have the same 10 in this order, but, here’s what I came up with for this year: