Tag Archives: Cortez McDowell

Tennessee football position preview: Defensive backs will face fresh competition for jobs

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The eighth in a series of position-by-position reviews of the Tennessee football team with an eye toward the start of spring practice in March.

Justin Coleman warms up before the Kentucky game (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee is returning all of its starters and more than 90 percent of its snaps at defensive back in 2014, which might normally be construed as good news.

But as the Vols’ defense has struggled at times over the last two years, the defensive backs have taken a heavy load of the blame.

While not all that criticism was fair, Tennessee’s lack of speed and depth were factors at times in 2013. That should ensure that no one’s job is safe in 2014.

Well, almost no one.

Cameron Sutton, who played a team-high 746 snaps on defense as a true freshman in 2013, can probably be safely penciled in as one of the cornerbacks.

Justin Coleman could be an option to shift to nickel if the Vols’ can find another Sutton waiting to blossom among their crop of new players.

Brian Randolph and LaDarrell McNeil could also face added competition. At the very least, all the starters should have backups that coaches feel more comfortable giving playing time.

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After Tennessee’s busy ‘Foundation Week,’ some questions and answers about Vols’ recruiting

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When they gave last week a name, you knew Tennessee coach Butch Jones wasn’t going to let it pass without any commitments.

In fact, there were six in a seven-day span, starting with Eric Lauderdale on July 14 and ending with Kevin Mouhon on Sunday night.

It’s fair to say #FoundationWeek, #FoundationDay and any other brick-related metaphors worked out OK. The Vols are now a consensus No. 1 in the team recruiting rankings (according to the 247Sports Composite).

With the six new additions, the Vols have an incredible 24 players who have verbally committed to sing in the Class of 2014, with still seven months to go until National Signing Day.

We think that the Vols can sign 29 or 30 players in this class. So that leaves precious little space to fill.

With that in mind, a few questions and answers….

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