As spring practice came to a close with the Dish Orange and White game on Saturday, Vol fans got a close up look at the players that will be counted upon heavily to replace some big shoes next fall.
As the NFL draft approaches Butch Jones knows that replacing the likes of Derek Barnett, Joshua Dobbs, Josh Malone, Cam Sutton as well as others won't be an easy task.
InsideTennessee takes a look at the individuals that saw their stock rise or fall as the Big Orange heads into the off season. .
Quinten Dormady: Without a doubt the star of the Dish Orange and White game was Dormady. The junior signal caller was a perfect 10 for 10 for 120 yards and two touchdowns. The accuracy was equally as impressive hitting his intended targets in stride where yards after the catch could be maximized. Throughout spring practice the Texas product impressed and appears to hold a slight edge in the quarterback battle that according to Jones won't be settled until the opener next fall.
Marcus Tatum: The depth of the Tennessee offensive line is an area that is loaded for the first time in many years. There is no doubt talented and even experienced players aren't going to be able to find the starting line up next fall. While Tatum started with the first team unit at right tackle in the spring game, he shouldn't be penciled into the starting lineup for next fall. However that doesn't mean he isn't coming on strong as Tatum is up to 285 pounds, and if he can surpass the 295 pound benchmark that Jones said was his target by next fall he might be the surprise contributor of Team 121.
Marquez Callaway: Callaway played sparingly last fall as freshmen but is pressing hard to be a starter next fall. The Warner Robins, Georgia product caught just one pass for 12 yards in the spring game but was a model of consistency in the 15 days of work throughout spring practice. Callaway started with the first unit in the spring finale and looks to figure solidly in the mix next fall.
Daniel Bituli: Sophomore linebacker, Daniel Bituli, was the standout for Bob Shoop's defense in the Dish Orange and White game. The mid-state product recorded four tackles and was all over the field from sideline to sideline. The performance shows a clear need for Shoop to find a way to get both he and Darrin Kirkland Jr on the field together. Both have played a majority of their reps at middle linebacker so developing some versatility that will allow the two to play together appears to be in the cards for next fall.
Darrell Taylor: Defensive end is a position of worry for many Vol fans heading into next fall. Taylor has been in the program for two complete years and if this defense is going to improve he must play well next fall as a major contributor especially as a pass rusher. He recorded two sacks in the Dish Orange and White game which is a step in the right direction.
Shanon Reid: The early enrollee made some strong impressions this spring. While tallying just one tackle on Saturday Reid did show up in the passing game just missing a near interception in the second quarter. From all indications Reid looks to follow the path of other talented linebackers in the fall by providing immediate help on special teams and adding quality depth at linebacker.
Ethan Wolf: The senior tight end had three receptions for 28 yards in the spring game but it is how the tight ends were used this spring that lands Wolf on this list. It seems natural that a tight end coach turn offensive coordinator in Larry Scott would look to utilize that position to its fullest. That is exactly what InsideTennessee expects to see next fall. That is music to the ears of many that have felt the tight ends have been under utilized in previous years.
Chance Hall: The time lost due to injury is not be helping the development of a number of talented offensive lineman. With Trey Smith and Tatum coming on strong Walt Wells has plenty of options. Hall might not have a spot in that starting lineup when he does get back healthy in the fall.
Coleman Thomas: Thomas and Hall might end up being in the same boat regarding injuries. Jashon Robertson took a majority of his reps at center this spring and Smith starting the opener at right guard is a real possibility. If that happens Robertson might end up bumping Thomas from the starting unit.
Tyler Byrd: Bryd was clearly to head of the class of freshmen wide receivers last fall but it appears both Latrell Williams and Callaway have caught him and maybe even past him coming out of spring practice. Bryd spent most the spring with the second unit.
Cortez McDowell: With Bituli looking like a linebacker that Shoop must find a way to get on the field next fall, McDowell needs to pick up his game and quickly. McDowell recorded three tackles on Saturday but didn't standout as major playmaker in a game dominated by the offense.