The preseason college football magazines have hit the news stands, so I’ll just be publishing synopses of their prognostications on Tennessee as I find them. Picked up Athlon and the Sporting News this week, so here’s what they have to say about about the Vols.
UT’s Preseason National Rank: No. 7
UT’s Projected SEC Finish: First in the SEC East
UT Bowl Projection: Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma
Projected All-Americans: First Team — defensive end Derek Barnett, kickoff returner Evan Berry, punt returner Cameron Sutton. Third team — linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Projected All-SEC: First Team — Running back Jalen Hurd, guard Jashon Robertson, defensive end Derek Barnett, kickoff returner Evan Berry, punt returner Cameron Sutton. Second Team — quarterback Joshua Dobbs, all-purpose back Alvin Kamara, cornerback Cameron Sutton. Third Team– punter Trevor Daniel.
UT’s spots in SEC Position Rankings (only in Athlon): Quarterbacks No. 2; Running Backs No. 3. Wide Receivers/Tight Ends No. 7; Offensive Line No. 3; Defensive LIne No. 5; Linebackers No. 2; Defensive Backs No. 6.
Other Lists: Joshua Dobbs No. 11, Jalen Hurd No. 20 among Heisman Trophy contenders; Bob Shoop No. 3 coordinator hire.
Quote of Interest: From an unnamed opposing coach in the “Scouting the Vols” section: “A lot of us thought they were on the brink of being really good. Like, really close. It’s probably a make-or-break year for Butch Jones, especially with some of the off-the-field stuff they’ve been dealing with. i would think the expectation for them should be to win the East, but they have to get over the mental hurdle of beating Florida. They don’t really have any excuses. They’ve been the better team the last two years and haven’t gotten it done.”
The Sporting News
UT’s Preseason National Rank: No. 13
UT’s Preseason SEC Projection: First in the SEC East
UT’s Bowl Projection: Orange Bowl vs. Florida State
Projected All-Americans: First Team-Safety Cameron Sutton (which is interesting because Sutton plays cornerback). Second Team-Derek Barnett
Projected All-SEC: First Team — Running Back Jalen Hurd, Defensive End Derek Barnett, Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Defensive Back Cameron Sutton.
Other Lists: Joshua Dobbs listed as best running quarterback in “Rating The SEC.”
Quote of Interest: “Tennessee lost four games by a combined 17 points last season before rattling off seven straight wins capped with an impressive 45-6 blowout over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. Joshua Dobbs’ evolution at quarterback continues and cornerback Cameron Sutton returns to bolster the defense. There’s offseason turmoil resulting from a Title IX lawsuit, but coach Butch Jones has this team ready to win the SEC East on the field. September games against Virginia Tech (at NASCAR’s Bristol Motor Speedway) and against Florida will set the tone.”