Tennessee boasted probably the greatest defensive tackle tandem in school history in 2001. John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth played so well that fall both were selected in the first 15 picks of the 2002 NFL Draft. Well, the folks at collegefootballnews.com think the Vols are loaded at the position again in 2006.
CFN.com is ranking the NCAA's top 25 players at each position this week, and its defensive tackle ratings list Tennessee
's Justin Harrell
at No. 8 and teammate Turk McBride
at No. 13. Even so, neither projects to be the best tackle on the field in the Vols' Sept. 2 opener. California
's Brandon Mebane
is rated the No. 1 defensive tackle in college football by the folks at CFN.com.
Here's what Collegefootballnews.com has to say about Mebane:
"Mebane is a defensive end built into the 6-3, 306-pound body with tremendous quickness into the backfield. He was one of the league's top linemen last year even though he suffered through an ankle injury and had to fight through constant double teaming. Expect him to be a disruptive anchor of a strong Cal defense."
In addiiton to Harrell and McBride, two more SEC players are ranked among CFN.com's top 25 defensive tackles – Florida's Marcus Thomas (No. 3) and Alabama's Jeremy Clark (No. 11).
No Vols are mentioned among CFN.com's list of the top 25 defensive ends but four SEC players are mentioned. Georgia's Quentin Moses is rated No. 1, Florida's Jarvis Moss No. 17, Auburn's Marquies Gunn No. 23 and Florida's Ray McDonald No. 24.