Top 10 Countdown for UT Fall Camp storylines

There are several questions surrounding the program and new Head Coach Derek Dooley. We have decided at InsideTennessee.com to attempt to be a little like David Letterman and do our own Top 10 Countdown to the major storylines that are likely to unfold this fall for Volunteer fans and supporters. Go "Inside" to see what comes in at No. 7.

For the second straight summer the Tennessee football program enters fall football camp, which begins Aug. 4, with a lot of unknowns.

This is the second straight fall camp that the Vols will report to in Knoxville under a new head coach.

There are several questions surrounding the program and new Head Coach Derek Dooley. We have decided at InsideTennessee.com to attempt to be a little like David Letterman and do our own Top 10 Countdown to the major storylines that are likely to unfold this fall for Volunteer fans and supporters.

We will do this feature over 10 days, taking a look at the top storylines that we could see this fall. Please realize this story is the opinion of the author and doesn't reflect the overall feelings of InsideTennessee.com. This is to help stimulate conversation and discussions in the Rocky Top News forum.

Coming in at No. 7:

Can Tauren Poole replace both Montario Hardesty and Bryce Brown?

Well, isn't this a fun question.

Tennessee didn't just lose one back that saw action last fall, they lost two. Hardesty is moving on to the NFL after the best season of his career. Brown is apparently transferring to another school, let's say TBD.

Poole at times last year was perhaps the best running back during the Vols fall camp. It was apparent that senior Hardesty was going to get a lot of the carries. It was also apparent that Lane Kiffin probably promised Brown the world during his recruitment.

Once Brown was cleared to play, there was not a lot of looking back for this coaching staff. Poole was put on the shelf, along with true freshman David Oku.

Was this the right thing to do?

Most of the media covering the team disagreed with the decision but also understood what was likely happening.

Poole is a different style of runner than Hardesty and Brown. He is faster, quicker and probably has better overall moves than either of the previous two.

Poole also is very hungry to prove a point.

He admitted to the media this past spring that he didn't feel that he got a fair shake last year. He also announced that he would do everything in his ability to live up to fans and his expectations this fall.

Expect Oku to get some carries this fall. If Toney Williams is totally healthy he will give the Vols that big back dimension that Hardesty and Brown supplied last season.

No matter which running backs are getting the carries this fall, if the UT offensive line doesn't jell it might not matter.

They have to have holes to hit, and they need a crease to run through for positite yards. That's up to a very inexperienced but talented offensive line.

The Vols running game could be spectacular this fall; it will all depend on the previously mentioned items.

Is Poole up to the task at hand?

I think the answer is yes. He has to stay very healthy. Is that possible? That will be the $50 million dollar question this season.


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