KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Two members of Tennessee’s 2013 class played in all 12 games this year.
One is easy to guess. The other is much more difficult.
Freshman cornerback Cameron Sutton was likely the most pleasant surprise of the hastily assembled 2013 class, starting every game and emerging as perhaps the Vols’ most trusted defensive back.
Who also played in every game? Freshman safety Lemond Johnson was a special teams regular, despite (as far as I can tell) not playing a single snap on defense.
(Note: Freshman walk-on Devaun Swafford also played in all 12 games. Thanks to @donnieconley for the catch).
Receivers Marquez North, Josh Smith and Johnathon Johnson also played important roles in 2013. Some who I expected to have a major impact — like tight end Woody Quinn and cornerback Riyahd Jones hardly played at all.
As Tennessee welcomes a huge signing class in 2014, it’s worth remembering how difficult it is project freshman performance. Even arriving early is no guarantee of success. Of the five players who enrolled early and went through spring practice in 2013, only one made an impact beyond special teams. That would be defensive end Corey Vereen.
Who can take a redshirt?
Officially, six players did not take a snap and are eligible for a redshirt season: Offensive linemen Brett Kendrick and Austin Sanders, defensive ends Malik Brown and Kendal Vickers, quarterback Riley Ferguson and receiver Ryan Jenkins.
Jenkins is battling a worrisome chronic injury, so it will be interesting to see how or if he responds in spring. The linemen weren’t needed immediately and got a chance to bulk up and work out during the season. Ferguson was on call until the very end, but ultimately survived the season with his redshirt intact.
In theory, there are two more defensive linemen who would be eligible for a medical hardship waiver — sometimes called a medical redshirt — if they sustained documented injuries during the season. Jason Carr and Jaylen Miller played in only three games (all during the first half of the season).
I’m not sure UT intends to request waivers for either player, however, because coaches didn’t “sell” the hypothetical “injuries” very aggressively during the year. In fact, Carr was even mentioned as a possible option to play late in the year.
We’ll find out soon enough whether Carr and Miller enter 2014 as sophomores or redshirt freshmen.
|Name||High school||Position||247Sports Composite rating||Games played||Games started|
|Marquez North||Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.)||WR||0.9574||11||11|
|Joshua Dobbs||Alpharetta (Alpharetta, Ga.)||QB||0.9276||5||4|
|Jason Carr||White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)||DL||0.9197||3||0|
|Jalen Reeves-Maybin||Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.)||S/LB||0.9051||11||0|
|Ryan Jenkins||Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.)||WR||0.8832||0||0|
|Austin Sanders||Bradley Central (Cleveland, Tenn.)||OL||0.8793||0||0|
|Riley Ferguson||Butler (Matthews, N.C.)||QB||0.8741||0||0|
|Paul Harris||Frederick Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.)||WR||0.868||5||0|
|Corey Vereen||West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.)||DE||0.8678||9||0|
|Lemond Johnson||Cooper City (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)||S||0.8656||12||0|
|Cameron Sutton||Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.)||CB||0.8625||12||12|
|Jaylen Miller||Gaffney (Gaffney, S.C.)||DL||0.8566||3||0|
|A.J. Branisel||Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School (Chardon, Ohio)||TE||0.8503||10||0|
|Johnathon Johnson||Friendswood (Friendswood, Texas)||WR||0.84||10||2|
|Malik Brown||Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)||DE||0.8387||0||0|
|Dylan Wiesman||Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio)||OL||0.8352||10||0|
|Brett Kendrick||Christian Academy of Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.)||OL||0.8296||0||0|
|Malik Foreman||Dobyns Bennett (Kingsport, Tenn.)||CB||0.829||9||0|
|Riyahd Jones||Carver High (Columbus, Ga.)||CB||0.8262||2||0|
|Josh Smith||Christian Academy of Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.)||WR||0.821||11||4|
|Woody Quinn||St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.)||TE||0.8091||2||0|
|Kendal Vickers||Havelock (Havelock, N.C.)||DE||0.7997||0||0|
|Jabo Lee||Dillon High (Dillon, S.C.)||RB|