The Tennessee Volunteers' 14 mid-year enrollees injected much-needed talent into the team's offense, but a handful of the 18 newcomers who will soon arrive on campus will make the biggest impact on the team's overall record in 2014.
New Faces on Defense
The Vols face a huge challenge on defense this season.
With the loss of the entire starting defensive line, including Daniel McCullers, Jacques Smith, Daniel Hood and Marlon Walls, the team will have to rely heavily on fresh faces for its front four to compete in the SEC.
The team also has pressing needs at linebacker. Returning senior and leading tackler A.J. Johnson could be in store for an all-conference season, but the departures of Dontavis Sapp and Brent Brewer—along with Curt Maggitt's part-time move to defensive end—mean both the strong-side and weak-side positions could be up for grabs.
The cornerback and safety positions are also far from set in stone. Sophomore phenom cornerback Cameron Sutton and senior Brian Randolph likely locked up their starting positions with solid play during the 2013 season. But there still will be plenty of opportunity for the newcomers to show off their speed and instincts and make a name for themselves.
Freshmen Must Step Up
For the Vols to have any hope of making a bowl game and achieving their first winning season since 2009, the 18 summer enrollees will need to make the same impact their classmates did when they arrived in January.
Here are the five incoming players who will be the team's biggest playmakers this season.