If you asked this question last year, you would likely have been met with a slap to the back of the head.
After all, Eric Berry was a role model off the field and there was no questioning his abilities on the field.
But, this year it’s a little more complicated. There are no All-Americans on this years team. No First team All-SEC players, either. However, this team does have a lot of something.
Class acts and unity.
The Seniors have been through 3 head coaches in 3 years. If they are on the offense, they have been through 4 offensive coordinators in 4 years.
They have been to the SEC Championship Game. They have also gone 5-7.
These players have gone through all of this adversity, together.
Now that we know a little bit about the background, let’s examine a few players who could rise up and be the leader of this team.
This 6-6, 253lbs Tight End was a force in the red zone last year. He caught fire in late October last year. He caught 29 passes and 5 of them were touchdowns.
He has shown his experience while talking to the media, as well as in the weight room.
He may be a key to helping the QB succeed this year. Simms or Bray will be looking for him as a check down guy while under pressure.
With sure hands, and an even more reliable tongue, he could be set to have a huge season for the Vols.
This second generation Volunteer was told he was too short by many colleges.
At only 5-10, maybe they were right.
But, Reveiz didn’t let three numbers get in the way of him achieving his dream. He worked hard as a walk-on for two years, until he earned a scholarship in 2009.
We’ve heard about him being a beast in the weight room, but until that Western Kentucky game I wasn’t sure. As soon as I saw him I thought, “That’s the son of a kicker?!”
He was having a magnificent season in 2009. He was even named co-captain alongside Eric Berry. That is, until the 4th game of the season against Ohio.
Nick suffered a season ending ACL injury. But now he is ready to hit again.
He’s a VFL(Vol For Life) and a very instinctive player. I believe he will show what he’s all about in 2010.
Many people say he had his coming out party in the 2009 Orange and White game.
I think his coming out party was the night Lane Kiffin left. In an interview that night, Walker wished Kiffin luck and said that this would only bring the team closer.
He personified class.
He has also shown what he can do on the field. In 2009, he had 6 sacks and 8.5 TFL. He also accounted for 2 interceptions, tying the team leader Eric Berry.
Chris will have a great season on the field this year, but will it surpass his performance off the field?
Maybe, but it will be a big challenge.
Gerald has been a starter since he stepped on campus in 2007. He has lead the team in receiving yards and touchdowns.
He has also bee chosen to speak at SEC media day.
Cooper has been the starting Full Back since 2008. He lead the way for Montario Hardesty last year, allowing him to rush for 1,345 yards.
He know how to execute his role on and off the field.
This is my one pick that is not a senior.
In fact, he is only a (RS) Freshman. However, He won an award this spring for being the most physical.
Gerald Jones has even gone as far to say, “He plays everyday like he’s pissed off at the world.”
Adding that he is the most physical DB he has ever lined up against.
If any of these players can rise to the occasion, the Volunteers will have a great image.
I am very glad to see the university represented by these players and I believe they will be great role models for the kids watching.
One thing is sure, even if one of them is leading.
They will still be together.
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