Insider Mailing: The Underrated Edition

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    We answer your best questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.

    “Which of the four major sports offers the greatest home field advantage? I say hockey and I’m a very casual fan.” – Steve 

    Nathanael: I honestly think you may be right on the money there. With the way hockey arenas are constructed, fans are right up on the action. And the acoustics certainly are great in those arenas. Basketball is a very close second to me, but you may be right about it being hockey.

    Will: Hockey is a solid answer. I’d have to say college basketball. The brand of the itself basketball can be different from arena to arena. Plus the backdrop behind the basket in a tiny gym is completely different from what a 20,000 seat arena looks like.

    “Who do you think is the most underrated Vol on the football roster right now?” – @AngryButchJones

    Nathanael: Can I choose freshmen who are coming in the fall? Because they’re technically not on the roster right this second, but they will be in a few months. If I can, then I’m choosing Ty Chandler. I really think Chandler is going to be a very solid player for the Vols even as a freshman. He’s highly rated, yes, but he’s not getting nearly the amount of attention I think he should be getting.

    Will: The John Kelly underrated award goes to Brandon Johnson for me. He’ll have a major opportunity to get a lot of playing time this season. Plus, he stepped in and made an impact in College Station. Any freshman who can handle that pressure has a bright future, in my opinion.

    “Are there any instant impact guys UT is recruiting right now outside of Cade Mays? Do you think Harris and Taylor could be in that group?” – @DaBruteRules

    Nathanael: If you’re talking about just current UT commitments, then I’d say Mays and possibly Taylor are the only two true instant impact guys right now. Harris could be as well, but I think the depth chart is working against him. Right now, the other commitments will either be redshirt candidates or find minimal work outside of special teams as freshmen I think. I’m very high on Jacob Warren, but I think his impact will be small as a freshman.

    Will: Harris is definitely on that group. If UT can land Camron Johnson, he’d make an immeadiate impact in the return game as well as on offense.

    “At what point do five billion debates about Jones being average cease this year and we actually talk about the 2017 team?” – @neylandmafia

    Nathanael: It’s going to take a while, unfortunately I think. Most of the talk will continue to be about Jones and last season until around SEC Media Days I think. Then it should hopefully begin to switch more towards the 2017 roster and season as a whole.

    Will: The more he talks, the more criticism he’ll get. Once players actually get on the field for fall camp, hopefully we can start talking about real football. At this point it doesn’t matter what Butch says, certain factions of the fan base are going to grill him.

    “How long will it take Butch to get a 15-yard penalty with those new rules about coaches stepping on the field to yell at refs?” – Jeff

    Nathanael: It will be interesting to see which SEC coach gets smacked with the penalty first. Between Jones, Saban, and Muschamp, it shouldn’t take long honestly.

    Will: SEC refs are going to have some tired arms by the end of the season…