Last year, Butch Jones decided to go with permanent captains for the whole 2016 season. In his previous three years at Tennessee, the Vols would rotate through captains on a game-by-game basis. And after Tennessee had at one point three of their four permanent captains injured and not on the field, many questioned Jones’ decision to have permanent captains.
A year later, and Jones has done away with those permanent captains and has gone back to game captains. And the Vols announced on Saturday who will be the game captains when they take on Georgia Tech on Monday’s season opener.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) September 2, 2017
Junior running back John Kelly, senior linebacker Cortez McDowell, senior defensive tackle Kendal Vickers, and senior offensive lineman Jashon Robertson will be the Vols’ game captains for their season opener against the Yellow Jackets.
Both Vickers and Robertson were player representatives for Tennessee at SEC Media Days this summer, and McDowell and Kelly come into the season ready to fill some major roles for the Vols.
Robertson and Vickers have some of the most returning starts on Tennessee’s entire roster heading into the 2017 season. Robertson has 35 career starts heading into his senior season, and Vickers has 26 starts. McDowell has just four starts, but he’s played in 38 games in his three years at Tennessee. Kelly has just one career start, but he played much more last year than expected, and he’s ascended into a leadership role this spring, summer, and fall.