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How Many Starts Do the Vols Return at Each Position?


Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

Total: 52 starts

Micah Abernathy – 22 (36)
Todd Kelly Jr. – 15 (40)
Nigel Warrior – 13 (24)
Baylen Buchanan – 1 (19)
Shawn Shamburger – 1 (11)

Tennessee’s safeties are the most experienced unit when it comes to total starts per player. Micah Abernathy, Todd Kelly Jr., and Nigel Warrior all return with a great deal of playing time in their Tennessee careers. Abernathy has the most starting experience of any player on UT’s roster, and Kelly is the longest-tenured player on the roster along with Dillon Bates at linebacker.

The Vols’ safety group is relatively deep and veteran, and they have Nigel Warrior, arguably Tennessee’s best defensive player on the entire roster. This should be the backbone of UT’s defense this season.

Tennessee’s cornerbacks, however, are an entirely different story.

Baylen Buchanan and Shawn Shamburger have a start apiece in their Tennessee careers, and that’s it in terms of returning starts for the Vols at corner. Tennessee has some intriguing options at corner including true freshmen Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson, but overall this unit will be very untested and will have a lot of questions heading into the season.

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