Josh Heupel will travel to Birmingham for his first SEC Media Days as Tennessee’s head football coach on Tuesday, July 20. Seniors Alontae Taylor and Velus Jones. Jr will accompany Heupel to his first media days.
Jones Jr. will play a major role in Tennessee’s offense in 2021 after taking advantage of his fifth season of eligibility due to COVID-19 relief. The speedy receiver fits well in Heupel’s system and is likely to be a starter in the fall.
With inconsistent quarterback play, Jones had an up-and-down 2020 season after transferring from USC.
The 6-foot Alabama native recorded 22 catches for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Jones was used in jet sweeps as well as vertical passing under offensive coordinator Jim Chaney in 2020. The senior earned three carries for 16 yards in 10 games.
Jones had four games where he recorded less than 10 receiving yards but two games of 70 or more yards.
Taylor has been a three year starter for Tennessee at cornerback. The senior has taken on a leadership role under the Vols’ major roster turnover this offseason.
The Manchester, Tennessee native recorded 29 tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception in eight games as a junior in 2020.
In his career, Taylor has recorded two interceptions, 11 pass break ups and 74 tackles.
Heupel will be the fourth and final head coach on the big stage next Tuesday in Birmingham. The first year head coach will follow Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin.