Starters (from left to right): Wanya Morris (So.), Trey Smith (Sr.), Brandon Kennedy (R-Sr.), Cade Mays (Jr.), Darnell Wright (So.)
The Vols went out and signed Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright while Trey Smith and Brandon Kennedy got healthy, and as a result, fans saw Tennessee’s offensive line go from disastrous in 2018 to a solid unit in 2019.
Now, Tennessee adds a very talented player in Cade Mays to the mix. With Mays transferring from Georgia, SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic expects for the Vols to be the second-best O-line in the SEC this year. Mays will need to receive a waiver to be immediately eligible, but there continues to be optimism in regards to his situation.
The Georgia transfer is very versatile. Mays played 108 snaps at left tackle last year according to PFF, 59 snaps at left guard, 46 snaps at center, 336 snaps at right guard, 64 snaps at right tackle, and 27 snaps at tight end as an extra linemen. In Knoxville, he’ll likely slide in at right guard to solidify the line.
Second-Team: Jahmir Johnson (R-Sr.), Chris Akporoghene (R-Fr.), Jerome Carvin (Jr.), Riley Locklear (Sr.), K’Rojhn Calbert (R-Jr.)
With Mays transferring to Tennessee to claim a starting position, that means a returning lineman is out of a job. Jahmir Johnson, Jerome Carvin, Riley Locklear, and K’Rojhn Calbert will all suffer from the addition after starting at multiple times over the last two seasons. Johnson and Locklear may be two candidates to transfer before the season starts, or they’re going to help solidify the depth. Both can play multiple positions.
Carvin can also play multiple spots, but Tennessee should look to redshirt the rising junior if the opportunity presents itself. The Memphis native should have redshirted as a freshman in 2018, but injuries forced him into action. As an interior offensive lineman, Carvin will be sitting behind Smith, Kennedy, and Mays this season. All three could be gone next season, opening up three jobs. The plan should be to redshirt him in order to preserve a year of eligibility.
As for Calbert, he’s the name to really watch on the second team offensive line. Calbert out-played Wright at times last season and played well at right tackle towards the end of the year. The fourth-year junior could push for a starting job if Wright comes out of the gate slow.
Third-Team: Jarious Abercrombie (R-So.), Jackson Lampley (R-Fr.), Cooper Mays (Fr.), Javontez Spraggins (Fr.), Ollie Lane (R-So.)
Cooper Mays, Javontez Spraggins, and James Robinson are the key names deep inside the offensive line room. All three are likely redshirt candidates as true freshmen this season, but all three have high ceilings.
Other Options: James Robinson (Fr.)