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Where Tennessee Football Lands In Post Spring Practice Top 25 Rankings

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

With spring practices and the spring transfer portal period in the rearview, outlets across the country are releasing their updated way-too-early top 25 rankings with summer workouts approaching.

Entering the summer, Josh Heupel’s third Tennessee team is a consensus top 25 team falling in the teens of the rankings.

Little has changed for Tennessee over spring practice. The Vols lost a few defensive depth pieces to the transfer portal and haven’t added anybody in the transfer portal to date.

In spring practice, redshirt freshman Nico Iamaleava continued to get more valuable reps while working with a deep receiver’s core that includes Tulane transfer Chris Brazzell II and freshmen Mike Matthews and Braylon Staley.

On defense, Tennessee expressed optimism that its defensive line could be one of the best in the country while they develop a young and unproven secondary.

So where does Tennessee land nationally and in the SEC in post spring practice way-too-early top 25s? Check it out here.

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National rank: No. 16

SEC rank: No. 7

What they said about the Vols in their “Spring Overreactions”: “Nico Iamaleava for Heisman.

Anybody who has seen Iamaleava throw the ball and deftly work his way around the pocket knows what an immense talent Tennessee’s first-year starting quarterback is. But there’s such a thing as too much hype (and too many expectations) too soon. His performance in the win over Iowa in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl was promising, but bowl games aren’t always a great indicator of what comes next.

The Vols need to play well around Iamaleava this season, both in the way the offensive line protects him and the way his skill players make plays. Iamaleava is well-liked in the locker room and has shown no entitlement despite all the attention he’s received. But now comes the real challenge — performing consistently week in and week out against the grind of an SEC schedule. Iamaleava also needs to bulk up. Unlike his arm talent, his durability could be a question.”

USA Today

National rank: No. 17

SEC rank: No. 7

What they said about the Vols: “QB Nico Iamaleava made his first start in Tennessee’s bowl win, but the spring was the first opportunity for Volunteers fans to see him as the true leader of the offense. Results were positive as was the outlook for his receiving group with Tulane transfer Chris Brazzell impressing. The main question is the offensive line, which was short-handed due to injuries. The defense overhaul, especially in the secondary, remains a work in progress.”


National rank: No. 12

SEC rank: No. 6

What they said about the Vols: “Nico Iamaleava leads the Vols at quarterback in a new era of sorts offensively. He was responsible for four touchdowns in his first career start in the Citrus Bowl win over Iowa and last season’s sensation at the position, Hendon Hooker, already deemed him “the chosen one” in Knoxville. That’s high praise given Hooker’s importance to the program and heightened success during his tenure. Like Michael Penix Jr. managed at Washington, Iamaleava is the type of talent that makes everyone around him better. Much of the defense is back, despite losing leading tackler Elijah Herring to the portal recently.”

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