Tennessee defensive coordinator Tim Banks is fired up about the players that the Volunteers football team is welcoming into the program this offseason.
During an early offseason press conference last week, Banks spoke about the three defensive players that Tennessee brought in. That would include former BYU cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally, former Arizona State defensive lineman Omarr Norman-Lott, and former BYU linebacker Keenan Pili.
Jeudy-Lally, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound defensive back, originally played at Vanderbilt for his true freshman season in 2020 and redshirt-freshman season in 2021 before transferring to BYU for the 2022 season. The Austin, Texas native started 10 games for the Cougars in 2022 with appearances in all 13 games.
Jeudy-Lally racked up 47 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and seven pass breakups during the 2022 season.
“Excited about him,” Banks said about Jeudy-Lally. “He’s a guy who’s played a lot of football, whether it be at Vanderbilt or BYU. The reality of it is we know we have some steps we need to make at a lot of positions, but the cornerback position is one of those spots. With his experience, we think he can come in here and hopefully compete for one of these jobs and help push those other guys to help these guys continue to grow. So, it’ll be a great opportunity for him, but I think it will also be a great opportunity for everybody involved, getting those guys going. We all know in this business the more competition you have the better it is for the program. He will be another guy who creates some great competition in that role.”
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After spending three years at Arizona State, defensive lineman Omarr Norman-Lott is heading to Knoxville to team up with defensive line coach Rodney Garner and the Volunteers.
“Another guy who has been in the battles, has played at a high level,” Banks said about Norman-Lott. “For us, we talk about our d-line being the tip of the spear, so we just felt like he was a guy that we thought could again, come in and contribute right away and create an environment in that room that is highly competitive. Because again, the better you are up front, as we talked about even from a four-man pass rush or just being stout against the run, we go as our front goes. He will be another guy that will continue to grow up there.”
Norman-Lott, a native of North Highlands, California, only played in seven games during the 2022 season due to injury battles throughout the year. Still, though, Norman-Lott recorded 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, and two pass deflections.
With Tennessee losing Byron Young, LaTrell Bumphus, and Roman Harrison this offseason, Omarr Norman-Lott could find a nice role on the Tennessee defensive line.
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And, lastly, linebacker Keenan Pili comes to Tennessee after four years at BYU. Pili committed and signed with Tennessee on the first day on the early signing period of Dec. 21, 2022.
The Provo, Utah native’s totaled 190 tackles, 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups in his first four college seasons.
“Once again, he’s played a lot of ball, but the leadership that he has,” Banks said about Pili. “We had a chance to meet with him and communicate with him, just an awesome guy. Obviously, we know he is a really good football player, but his leadership style and the way he carries himself, I think he will be a really good resource for some of the younger backers in that room and he’ll be someone they can look to get some answers, just kind of being a pro, so to speak. We’re excited about him. Like I said, he’s played a ton of ball and played at a high level, but we’re really excited about his leadership and how he’ll help these young guys really develop and get better.”