Insider Mailing: Spring Practice Edition

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    “Which new recruit will be used the most next season and why?” – Jordan Duncan

    Erik: I want to say Jonathan Kongbo III because he’s terrifying, but my real answer is Nigel Warrior. Tennessee is just thin at safety and I think he can possibly be an upgrade there.

    Stephen: The easy pick here is Kongbo. I think he will, without a doubt, see the field a lot. He was so heavily recruited for a reason and if he’s not on the field early I will honestly be worried that that staff isn’t as optimistic about him as they once were. Another player I think we will see a lot is Jeff George. The Vols only have four returning scholarship receivers and George brings experience from the JUCO level as well as size that would be an advantage over any defensive back.

    Daniel: Agree with Kongbo and Warrior and would also had Marquez Callaway (or whatever receiver steps up) to the mix. It gets overlooked that the Vols only have four scholarship receivers with any kind of significant experience coming back in 2016. The coaches have said it likes to rotate 8-10 guys at that position, so the Vols need several new contributors to emerge there.

    “What do you think about DeAngelo Williams comments on The Sheriff?” – @RickySticky16

    Erik: He’s a clown. 

    Stephen: I don’t think he meant any disrespect. He said Peyton Manning had a “garbage” season. Is he lying? We were all talking about how Peyton NEEDED to retire because he wasn’t looking that good on the field. I don’t see that as disrespectful. I think Williams knows good and well that Manning is one of the best ever, and he isn’t saying otherwise. He’s just stating that Manning was terrible last season – and statistically speaking, he was. That being said, I do understand the subject matter as sensitive and saying anything other than positive things about Manning in his moment of riding off in the sunset isn’t exactly what you want to hear.

    “Can Jeff George take a starting spot? From what I saw yesterday he’s got crisp routes and strong hands.” – @ParksBuchanan

    Erik: No. Not right now, but seriously, no.

    Daniel: Agreed, no. He has some upside, but he’s very, very thin and isn’t on the same level as Josh Smith, Preston Williams, Jauan Jennings and Josh Malone right now, based on my first observations. I think the goal for him in 2016 is to crack the rotation and to be a situational player.

    Stephen: I’m not as emphatic about it as EA, but I agree the answer is no. I think the obvious starters are Josh Smith, Josh Malone and either Preston Williams or Jauan Jennings. But seeing as they are all Tennessee really has, I think it’s safe to say George will get plenty of playing time and could start mid-season or earlier if injuries occur.

    “Does Gaulden have a higher ceiling at CB or S?” – @TNMurse

    Erik: Safety. Beef him up and put him at safety. Get him on the Will Grier plan.

    Stephen: I think he is a more natural safety so that’s my answer. However the coaches really like him at nickel which means they like his coverage skills and his ability to play across the entire field. Since TK and Evan Berry (at least in my opinion) will see the most reps at safety, they will still want to get Gaulden on the field. And the answer for that dilemma could be putting him at nickel.

    Daniel: I think the question really comes down to how the Vols can get the best four or five on the field in the secondary. If Evan Berry and Nigel Warrior aren’t ready to be full-time starters in 2016, I could see a scenario where Gaulden plays the nickelback spot in the nickel look and then drops back to safety in the true 4-3. If they feel good with somebody at safety opposite of Kelly (be it Berry, Warrior, Stephen Griffin, Micah Abernathy or whoever), then I think Gaulden’s best spot is nickel, but they may have to get creative.