7. Special Teams in 2016 will be the best in UT history
Tennessee’s special teams had a historic season in 2015 and 2016 looks to be even better. Cam Sutton (punt returner), Evan Berry (kick returner), and Trevor Daniel (punter) lead the special teams as all three are preseason All-SEC selections. Alvin Kamara also split punt return reps with Sutton last year and will continue that this year. Junior kicker Aaron Medley is looking to improve on last year’s performance.
Tennessee finished first in the country in kickoff return average (33.4 yards) and tied for first in kick return touchdowns (3) thanks to Evan Berry. Between Sutton and Kamara, the Vols finished second in punt return average (17.2 yards) and tied for second with Georgia in punt return touchdowns (3). Trevor Daniel was a pleasant surprise last year, as the former walk-on averaged 45.2 yards per punt, which ranked second best in the SEC and eighth in the country. Daniel’s leg proved to be a game changer in certain games, most notably the Georgia game as he boomed a 56 yard punt at the 1-yard line with less than 2 minutes left, which eventually led Tennessee to a victory over the Bulldogs.
The only question this upcoming season seems to lie with Aaron Medley, but with having another offseason to prepare and get stronger, he should be able to answer that. The entire 2016 special teams unit will go down as the best in Tennessee history.