Stock Report: Gauging the Vols in Athens

What players saw their stock rise or fall in the wild finish between the hedges.

Tennessee moved to 5-0 with a miracle finish between the hedges of Sanford Stadium.

InsideTennessee took a look at the individuals that saw their stock rise or fall heading into a top-10 showdown with the Texas A&M Aggies.

Upgraded Stocks

Jauan Jennings: There really is no reason to explain this one. Jennings is putting himself squarely on the list of legendary clutch Volunteer performers of all time quickly.

Derek Barnett: In the second half, Barnett once again went into beast mode. In what should have been the play that stood out as the game winner, Barnett sacked Jacob Eason in the end zone causing a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown by teammate Cory Vereen. That play gave the Vols the lead 28-24 late in the fourth quarter.

Evan Berry: Making his first appearance on this report, Berry similarly made his first showing as a member of the Bob Shoop defensive group. Berry hadn't logged a single snap at safety for the first four games of the season but found himself thrust into the lineup replacing Micah Abernathy for a number of crucial plays in the game. Berry continues to be a standout on kick returns and his final return of the day put Joshua Dobbs & Co. within striking distance for the Hail Mary attempt.

Danny O'Brien: With all the superstar players getting the vast amount of attention on this team, O'Brien keeps quietly being an important part of this star-studded defensive line. O'Brien isn't going to set the stat sheet on fire but he tallied three total tackles with one being a tackle for loss.

Rashaan Gaulden: Tallying eight total tackles, Gaulden is hitting his stride after missing the 2015 season with an injury. He has won the nickelback job after a battle with Malik Foreman in summer camp and early in the season. This stock is ready to skyrocket as Gaulden gains experience.

Riley Lovingood: Not sure a longsnapper will ever make this report again unlesss it is on the negative side, but the Hendersonville native deserves to be listed. Without the wild last 19 seconds of the game, Lovingood's catch and subsequent downing of the Trevor Daniel punt inside the 5-yard line would have received much more gratitude from Vols fans.

Downgraded Stocks

Cortez McDowell: It was a rough day for the replacement of Jalen Reeves Maybin. Facing 46 rushing attempts by the Dawgs one would expect a linebacker to get more than six tackles, but that wasn't the most glaring problem with McDowell. Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta had a big day with five catches for 83 yards and beat McDowell for a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put Georgia up 24-14. 

Justin Martin: Two weeks in a row the former Overton (Tenn.) High standout is on the wrong side of this report and this time it is for another reason. Martin was suspended on Saturday for a violation of team rules. Martin perhaps is the most talented of the secondary players but he simply can't seem to get his act together long enough to help this defense. Martin sees himself at a crossroads and for the sake of his future this needs to be a wake-up call.

Jason Croom: Just a tough day for the Volunteer tight ends. Croom didn't record a catch as he and Ethan Wolf continue to be a mystery in terms of consistency. 

Ethan Wolf: The same said about Croom can be said about the former Scout four-star prospect. What once was considered a matchup nightmare for opponents no longer strikes fear to defensive coordinators. Wolf had no catches on the day.

Jalen Hurd: For as much football as Hurd has played there really is only one word that can be used to described his fumble in the second quarter — unacceptable. Even more eye-opening than the nonchalant fumble was Hurd being on the sidelines most of the second half. Jones said Hurd was held out due to a lower extremity issues but the fact that Hurd was on the field for the last kickoff return makes one wonder why Hurd wasn't a factor in the fourth quater.

Lovingood discusses earning SEC honor


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