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Tennessee senior WR Von Pearson caught 83.3% of the passes thrown his way while lining up in the slot, according to Pro Football Focus.

We previously blurbed a piece of PFF info that said Pearson only dropped one catchable target last season. With Marquez North and Pig Howard on the outside with Von Pearson in the slot, the Vols have one of the better receiver groups in the country. So much of Tennessee's success this season relies on quarterback Josh Dobbs and the offensive line.
Aug 2 - 11:27 AM

Tennessee sophomore LB Cortez McDowell recorded 13 tackles on special teams in 2014, the most of any SEC player.

2014 was McDowell's freshman season, so some might conclude an increase for his conference leading number. If McDowell was to see time in the base defense it would be at weakside linebacker.
Jul 30 - 10:15 AM

Tennessee redshirt senior edge rusher Curt Maggitt continued to work on hand use for over an hour during a recent summer training session.

Maggitt is used all over the defensive formation, seeing time at all edge and linebacker spots. We aren't sure how athletic Maggitt is, so he might need to "win" with technique to create separation and put his opponent off balance.
Jul 28 - 9:59 AM

Tennessee senior DT Owen Williams recorded five sacks last year on only 167 pass rushing snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

We are always looking for productive interior pass rushers, even if they are role players and not full time starters. The Volunteers keep popping up on our preseason blurbs, and we are excited to see if both sides of the ball can take a step forward in 2015. The talent is there to succeed.
Jul 27 - 9:23 AM

Tennessee junior QB Joshua Dobbs' "arm strength has improved dramatically in the two-plus years he’s been in Knoxville," notes ESPN's Travis Haney.

"Like many of his teammates, Dobbs could be poised to make a big jump this fall," Haney wrote. As a sophomore last year, Dobbs recorded 1,675 total yards of offense (1,206 yards passing on 63.3 percent completions) in six games. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound quarterback played well at the recent Elite 11 camp.
Jul 26 - 9:54 PM

Tennessee sophomore RB Jalen Hurd averaged 3.07 yards after contact in 2014, good for fourth among SEC ball carriers.

This placed Hurd one spot ahead of second round pick T.J. Yeldon. Hurd was extremely impressive during his first season of college football, especially in the passing game. He could emerge even more during his second year. Tennessee has a good amount of talent on both sides of the ball.
Jul 25 - 7:06 PM

Tennessee sophomore DB Evan Berry led the SEC in kick return average on his 14 attempts with an average of 30.1 yards.

Berry made his biggest impact on these kick returns during his first season. His long return went for 68 yards. The Vols have a number of young studs on defense, and Berry could see more time in the base defense this season.
Jul 24 - 9:34 AM

Tennessee junior CB Cameron Sutton has "the ball skills to make plays on passes in his direction," NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter observes.

"A full-time starter in both of his seasons in Knoxville, Sutton is already one of the country's best cornerbacks. He possesses the size (6-1, 189) to match up with tall receivers and has the agility to stay with quicker wideouts down the sideline. Quarterbacks have learned the hard way that Sutton also has the ball skills to make plays on passes in his direction," Reuter wrote. The Tennessee prospect finished the 2014 season with three interceptions, 16 pass breakups, a forced fumble, four TFL and 37 tackles. Reuter believes Sutton is an early favorite to earn All-American honors in 2015.
Jul 23 - 2:28 PM

Tennessee junior OLB Jalen Reeves-Maybin "looked more like an NFL prospect than [A.J.] Johnson" last season, reports NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"Reeves-Maybin is a little smaller than teams would like, but he's very good at sifting and sorting through the traffic and coming out on the other side for the tackles," Zierlein wrote. "He's not a take-on linebacker and must be proficient and diligent with his hands to keep himself clean. He needs to have his tackles for losses exceed his missed and broken tackles this season." The analyst ranked Reeves-Maybin as the No. 8 linebacker currently generating interest from NFL scouts. "Reeves-Maybin can cover and blitz, which makes him an every-down linebacker on this level and the next," Zierlein concluded. Reeves-Maybin ranked ninth in the SEC in tackles per game with 7.8 last year.
Jul 20 - 11:17 PM

Tennessee junior CB Cameron Sutton did not commit a single penalty in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus.

He was the only SEC cornerback to play over 800 snaps and not have a penalty charged to his name. Sutton is receiving a lot of summer attention after many are going back through his sophomore tape. Tennessee could be one of the surprise teams in the country thanks to very talented prospects on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Jul 19 - 10:26 AM

Tennessee pass rushing duo Derek Barnett and Curt Maggitt are shooting for 30 combined sacks (15 each) this season, according to Maggitt.

Maggitt went on to say that they see themselves as the SEC's top returning pass rush duo. Hard to argue on that account. They combined for 21 sacks last season (10 for Barnett, 11 for Maggitt), the second-highest conference total for two players behind only Mizzou's Shane Ray and Markus Golden.
Jul 17 - 6:28 PM

Tennessee junior CB Cameron Sutton isn't a "premium athlete" and "his footwork needs improvement from press coverage," writes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"However, for two straight seasons he has found a way to be a very sticky defender who is constantly challenging throws," Zierlein wrote. "My biggest concern for Sutton is that he's wildly inconsistent as a tackler and must show more grit and determination in that area to truly become a well-rounded cornerback." Sutton held opposing quarterbacks to 35.5 percent completions last year. Zierlein pegs him as the No. 9 defensive back in the nation. The 6-foot-1, 189-pounder posted three interceptions, 16 pass breakups, a forced fumble, four TFL and 37 tackles last year.
Jul 16 - 10:09 PM

Tennessee sophomore RB Jalen Hurd is now up to 242 lbs.

Hurd, who stands 6-foot-3, was previously listed at 227 lbs. Obviously this is a unique frame for the position, and Hurd's skills math it. He is one of the better pass protectors in college football, a trait that is tough to find at any level, and is comfortable as a receiver. Hurd should be the backbone of the school's offense, with Joshua Dobbs and a talented receiver group converting big plays.
Jul 15 - 10:18 AM

Tennessee sophomore DE Derek Barnett is "a relentless force and perhaps already the best player for a Vols team that is quickly rising into SEC contention," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"One of many rising young stars at Tennessee, Barnett starred as a freshman," Brown wrote. "Texas A&M's [Myles] Garrett got more hype, but Barnett actually had the more impressive freshman season overall, although he got more help thanks to the presence of pass rusher Curt Maggitt opposite him." The scribe ranks Barnett as the No. 4 defensive end in the country. The 6-foot-3, 267-pound Barnett had a tremendous season as a true freshman in 2014, posting 20.5 TFL and 10 sacks.
Jul 14 - 9:18 PM

Tennessee redshirt senior edge rusher Curt Maggitt was No. 3 in pass rush productivity in the FBS last season, according to PFF.

A previously blurb already outlined the array of snaps Maggitt played all over the Volunteers defensive front. In 2014, Maggitt racked up 23 hurries, eight sacks and four quarterback hits. Tennessee's front seven could be one of the best in the nation.
Jul 14 - 12:12 PM

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