Dooley ages, roster doesn't

Given the taxing nature of Tennessee's losses to LSU and North Carolina, Vol football coach Derek Dooley surely aged considerably in 2010. His roster, however, just keeps getting younger and younger.

A mere seven seniors started for Tennessee in the Music City Bowl, yet the Vols shape up to be even greener in 2011. The only projected senior starters for next fall are tailback Tauren Poole, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, defensive end Ben Martin and linebacker Austin Johnson.

Because so few players remain from Tennessee's 2008 and '09 signing classes there won't be many junior starters in 2011, either. As a result, Dooley is looking at a two-deep depth chart in September that features mostly sophomore starters and freshman backups.

Tennessee's 2011 roster can't be finalized until all of the signees are approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse, of course. Still, here is a reasonable preliminary projection:

QUARTERBACK: 1 - sophomore Tyler Bray, 2 - senior Matt Simms (assuming he stays), 3 - redshirt freshman Nash Nance or redshirt freshman Doak Raulston or freshman Justin Worley

TAILBACK: 1 - senior Tauren Poole, 2 - sophomore Rajion Neal or freshman Tom Smith or sophomore Toney Williams

FULLBACK: 1 - sophomore Channing Fugate, 2 - senior Sam Edgmon

RECEIVER: 1 - sophomore Justin Hunter, 2 - sophomore DeMario Williams or freshman Vincent Dallas

RECEIVER: 1 - sophomore Da' Rick Rogers, 2 - junior Zach Rogers

RECEIVER: 1 - freshman DeAnthony Arnett, 2 - sophomore Matt Milton

TIGHT END: 1 - junior Mychal Rivera, 2 - senior Ben Bartholomew or freshman Brendan Downs or senior Brent Slusher

RIGHT TACKLE: 1 - sophomore Ja'Wuan James, 2 - sophomore Daniel Hood or freshman Kyler Kerbyson

RIGHT GUARD: 1 - sophomore Zach Fulton, 2 - freshman Marcus Jackson

CENTER: 1 - sophomore James Stone, 2 - junior Darin Gooch or senior Cody Pope (if healthy), 4 - junior Carson Anderson or freshman Mack Crowder

LEFT GUARD: 1 - sophomore JerQuari Schofield, 2 - sophomore Kevin Revis or freshman Alan Posey

LEFT TACKLE: 1 - junior Dallas Thomas, 2 - redshirt freshman Marques Pair

LEFT DEF. END: 1 - senior Ben Martin or sophomore Corey Miller, 3 - freshman Jordan Williams or freshman Trevarris Saulsberry

DEF. TACKLE: 1 - senior Malik Jackson, 2 - sophomore Marlon Walls, 3 - sophomore Joseph Ayres or freshman Allan Carson or senior Rae Sykes or junior Steven Fowlkes

NOSE TACKLE: 1 - juco transfer Maurice Couch or junior Montori Hughes, 3 - sophomore Arthur Jeffery or redshirt freshman Greg Clark

RIGHT DEF. END: 1 - sophomore Jacques Smith, 2 - redshirt freshman Martaze Jackson or junior Willie Bohannon

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER: 1 - junior Herman Lathers, 2 - sophomore Raiques Crump, 3 - junior Nigel Mitchell-Thornton

MIDDLE LINEBACKER: 1 - senior Austin Johnson or sophomore John Propst, 3 - freshman A.J. Johnson or sophomore Jerod Askew

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER: 1 - sophomore Greg King or senior Daryl Vereen, 3 - freshman Christian Harris or sophomore Robert Nelson

LEFT CORNERBACK: 1 - junior Marsalis Teague, 2 - sophomore Eric Gordon or senior Art Evans

RIGHT CORNERBACK: 1 - junior Prentiss Waggner, 2 - sophomore Nyshier Oliver or senior Anthony Anderson or freshman Justin Coleman or senior C. J. Fleming

FREE SAFETY: 1 - junior Janzen Jackson, 2 - redshirt freshman Dontavis Sapp or redshirt freshman Ted Meline or freshman Brian Randolph

STRONG SAFETY: 1 - sophomore Brent Brewer, 2 - freshman Pat Martin or freshman Tino Thomas or junior Rod Wilks

PUNTER: 1 - redshirt freshman Matt Darr

KICKER: 1 - sophomore Michael Palardy

KICKOFF RETURNS: 1 - sophomore Da'Rick Rogers or freshman Devrin Young or freshman DeAnthony Arnett

PUNT RETURNS: 1 - freshman Devrin Young or freshman DeAnthony Arnett or senior Anthony Anderson

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