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Vols Projected Depth Chart as Players Return To Campus

Defensive Backs

Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI

Starters (CB/S/S/CB/Nickle): Bryce Thompson (Jr.), Jaylen McCollough (So.), Trevon Flowers (Jr.), Alontae Taylor (Jr.), Shawn Shamburger (Sr.)

Not only is Pruitt having to replace Taylor up front and Bituli in the middle, but he also has to replace All-SEC First Team safety Nigel Warrior in the secondary. Jaylen McCollough played well as a freshman next to Warrior, stealing the job from Theo Jackson and taking over full-time for Trevon Flowers when he broke his leg against Mississippi State. McCollough and Flowers should form a strong duo at safety this year, but only if McCollough takes a step forward and Flowers remains healthy.

At corner, Bryce Thompson has one of the starting spots locked down. Thompson has the potential to have an All-SEC caliber season and then depart a year early for the NFL. Alontae Taylor may also have that potential, but he has to be more consistent even if he wants to lock down the second corner spot. Warren Burrell and Kenneth George Jr. each have starting experience and will snatch Taylor’s job if the junior performs in fall camp like he did last August. Incoming freshman Key Lawrence has the potential to push for significant playing time at corner or safety as well.

Senior Shawn Shamburger will man the star/nickle position in Pruitt’s defense. Shamburger had a terrific junior campaign, especially towards the end of the season. Tennessee could add a very nice depth piece in redshirt senior Baylen Buchanan if he is healthy after dealing with a spinal injury last year.

Second-Team: Warren Burrell (So.), Theo Jackson (Sr.), Tyus Fields (R-Fr.), Kenneth George Jr. (R-Sr.), Baylen Buchannan (R-Sr.)

Third-Team: Key Lawerence (Fr.), Doneiko Slaughter (Fr.), Cheyenne Labruzza (R-Jr.), Kenney Solomon (So.), Tamarion McDonald (Fr.)

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