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Vols Remove First Helmet Stripe

Photo Credit: Nick Davis/RTI
Photo Credit: Nick Davis/RTI

Tennessee places helmet stripes on its newcomers and challenges them to (paradoxically) “earn their stripes” by having their helmet stripe removed when they’ve proven themselves to teammates.

It can be a bit arduous to keep up with every player’s stripe status, but it is notable when the first one comes off. That happened Wednesday when true freshman Baylen Buchanan had his removed, the team confirmed via Twitter.

Buchanan might not have been the most likely candidate to earn this honor if UT fans were polled before the start of practice. The former 3-star recruit out of Lawrenceville, Ga., didn’t come to UT with the fanfare of many of his classmates, but his work in camp has impressed coaches and teammates as the Vols look for more depth in the secondary and help on special teams.

Being the first to have your stripe removed comes with a pretty strong precedent of early success at UT.

Cornerback Cam Sutton was the first to have his removed in 2013. Defensive end Derek Barnett, running back Jalen Hurd, tight end Ethan Wolf and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley – all of whom have had successful careers to varying extents – was the first group to have theirs removed in 2014.

Running back Alvin Kamara was the first newcomers to have his removed in 2015, while defensive end Kyle Phillips was the first freshman to receive that honor last year.

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