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CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli believes that those ranking Tennessee as a top-10 team are "moving just a bit too fast."

Fornelli actually likes the Vols to post a nice 2016 season and thinks a top-25 ranking suits them fine. Just not top-10. The analyst would like to see them finish out the close games this season. As he notes, HC Butch Jones' crew lost nail-biters to Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas (none of those margins were higher than a touchdown) in 2015.
Source: CBS Sports
May 22 - 2:47 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper sees Tennessee junior DE Derek Barnett as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft class.

"After he set the record for the most sacks (10.0) by a Vols true freshman in team history, Barnett came back and got 10 more in 2016," Kiper wrote. "He has above average quickness and plenty of power as a pass-rusher." The 6-foot-3, 267-pounder added 69 tackles, 12.5 TFL and a forced fumble in 2015. Per Pro Football Focus' grades, only Ohio State DE Joey Bosa had a better season as an edge rusher than Barnett last year.
Source: ESPN.com
May 21 - 12:39 PM

Tennessee junior CB Evan Berry was named to the preseason Lott IMPACT trophy watch list.

Berry is that rare defender who is a legitimate game-changing weapon. Let's start with his All-American kick returning ability. Since arriving on campus, he's accrued 1,217 return yards with three touchdowns in that facet. Berry was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2015. On defense, Berry added a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown last year. The brother of Kansas City Chief Eric Berry is a legitimate NFL prospect in his own right.
May 20 - 8:57 PM

ESPN's Alex Scarborough referred to Tennessee junior RB Jalen Hurd as "the SEC's version [of] Christian McCaffrey."

"[Hurd] is an athletic marvel with the ability to run with power and speed, as well as catch the football," Scarborough wrote. The analyst pegged the 6-foot-3, 227-pound back as a potential sleeper Heisman candidate and believes he "should be a household name by now." Hurd hasn't ever posted a season with sun-eclipsing numbers approaching those McCaffrey posted in 2015, but ended the most recent campaign having rushed for 1,285 yards (4.6 YPC) and 12 touchdowns. He also netted 22 catches for 190 yards. Those 22 catches look nice, but pale in comparison to the 45 McCaffrey made.
Source: ESPN.com
May 19 - 2:00 PM

Tennessee senior CB Cameron Sutton regressed from a +13.4 PFF grade (No. 1 in the 2017 class) in 2014 to a +2.8 (No. 40) last year.

The drop had to do with his coverage work in particular. Sutton posted three interceptions and ten pass defenses during a superb 2014, finishing with an NFL passer rating against of 51.6. By no means was he bad last year, but Sutton had only one interception and four passes defensed and surrendered a higher completion percentage (52.5).
May 16 - 10:28 PM

Rivals analyst Adam Gorney wrote that Tennessee junior DE Derek Barnett is "an athletic playmaker who will be taken early [in the draft]."

Gorney noted that Barnett is "incredibly active against the pass and the run and in a strong group of defensive ends he’s going to stand out the most." The 6-foot-3, 267-pound junior stomped through the SEC to the tune of 69 tackles (12.5 for loss), 10 sacks and a forced fumble in 2015. Per Pro Football Focus metrics, the only edge rusher to earn a higher overall grade than Barnett last season was Ohio State DE Joey Bosa. If the Volunteers are to truly challenge for an SEC crown, as some analysts have suggested, Barnett figures to be a key crampon in their ascent up the CFB mountain.
Source: Rivals
May 14 - 8:22 PM

Tennessee senior LB Jalen Reeves Maybin said, "I don’t think anyone has any idea at all about how much goes into the academic side of things."

Reeves-Maybin is an absolute terror on the football field and made 105 tackles (14.0 for loss) and six sacks last season, but he spoke earnestly to the other side of the student-athlete hyphenate. "[Taking three African-American history courses] really opened my eyes a lot, helped me to notice a lot of things about society that I’d never really paid attention to. It was fun to put my brain on that, things I’d never thought about," said the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder. He thought about declaring for the 2016 draft, but decided in mid-January that that wasn't the right path for him at this juncture in his career. In October, ESPN's Todd McShay praised his "instincts, toughness and range."
Source: Rivals
May 14 - 5:09 PM

ESPN's Edward Aschoff wrote that Tennessee redshirt junior RB Alvin Kamara "has the ability to be a true triple threat."

Kamara did a bit of everything in 2015, rushing for 698 yards (6.5 YPC) and seven touchdowns while catching 34 passes for 291 yards and three more scores. He also returned eight punts on the side, racking up 100 yards and a score on special teams. Wrote Aschoff, "Kamara is a dynamic player with the ball in his hands and Tennessee's coaching staff will make sure he touches the rock as much as possible in as many ways as possible." Jalen Hurd remains the lead back for the Vols, somewhat blunting Kamara's overall statistical production, but they should both be strong contributors come the start of the 2016 campaign.
Source: ESPN.com
May 14 - 12:42 PM

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman keeps "hearing ... over and over ... from NFL people I trust" that Tennessee legend Peyton Manning wants to coach his alma mater.

"I don't know if it's accurate," Freeman notes. But the analyst goes on to point out that Manning doesn't seem interested in a position as a television analyst or in an NFL front office, at least yet. "He's not the type of dude who sits and relaxes," Freeman wrote. "At least not for long." With Butch Jones' program having come under intense fire over the past year, this is a report to file in the back of your mind.
May 13 - 4:13 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote that Tennessee senior QB Josh Dobbs "continued growth as a pocket passer makes him a player worth watching every week."

"Dobbs can sling it from the pocket, and is extremely dangerous on the run-pass option," Reuter wrote. He further indicated that he is a fan of Dobbs' accuracy when throwing on the run. The issue here, though, is that we have yet to see the 6-foot-3, 216-pounder put together a sustained stretch of passing brilliance. He finished last season as the eighth-best gunslinger in the SEC in terms of pass efficiency.
Source: NFL.com
May 10 - 10:28 PM

Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis wrote that if Tennessee senior QB Josh Dobbs "evolves into a legitimate downfield threat, he could emerge as the top quarterback in the SEC."

"The question," Ellis believes, "is whether the dual-threat Dobbs can develop into a more consistent passer after he finished eighth in the SEC in pass efficiency in 2015." He has never thrown for more than 6.8 YPA during a season (he pulled that off in 2014). Should he be able to take that next step and begin delivering an accurate downfield ball, the analyst believes he could make some noise as a potential dark horse for the Heisman.
May 9 - 3:02 PM

Tennessee did not have a player selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.

WR Marquez North and DE Curt Maggitt were probably the Vols' best bets for actually seeing a player selected. While neither player was drafted, Maggitt latched on with the Colts as an undrafted free agent and North did likewise with the Rams. This was the first time since 1994 that Tennessee failed to land a prospect with an NFL team during the draft itself. Ohio State plays the flip-side of that equation, leading the draft with 12 prospects selected.
Source: NFL.com
May 7 - 6:03 PM

Colts signed Tennessee OLB Curt Maggitt.

Maggitt (6'3/247) made 29 starts at Tennessee before missing all but two games as a senior with a chipped bone in his hip. He looked to be coming on in his junior campaign, breaking out for 15 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. Maggitt still wasn't recovered in time to work out before the draft. Amid obvious injury flags -- he also tore his ACL in college -- Maggitt is a passionate and highly competitive rush end-'backer with edge burst to disrupt enemy quarterbacks. Maggitt has upside if he can get and stay healthy.
May 3 - 11:59 PM

Rams signed Tennessee WR Marquez North.

North (6'3/223) went pro after a disappointing, injury-plagued three-year run at Tennessee, managing a 74-874-5 (11.8 YPR) career receiving line and hardly playing in 2015. He missed time with knee, back and shoulder injuries in college. North rehabbed his stock somewhat at the Combine, blazing 4.48 with a 35-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. North just turned 21 and possesses NFL-level size and athleticism, but his track record isn't inspiring. He's still someone to monitor as a height-weight-speed prospect.
May 1 - 7:48 PM

Knoxville police chief David Rausch indicated that his department will no longer provide courtesy calls to Tennessee when student-athletes are involved in off-field incidents.

Butch Jones and the Volunteers received courtesy calls when defenders A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams were investigated on suspicion of rape in November of 2014. No more such calls will be coming their way. Rausch said in a statement that "in the interest of transparency and to alleviate any appearance of conflict of interest, we have changed the previous practice, to ensure that investigators focus without hindrance on finding the facts and bringing justice to victims of crime." The university is currently facing a federal lawsuit charging that their culture has been one of "deliberate indifference" and a "clearly unreasonable response" to claims of sexual assaults committed by student athletes.
Apr 23 - 6:09 PM


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