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Last season the Volunteers showed flashes of ability on both sides of the ball but also lacked consistency. Now entering the second season under Butch Jones I fully expect the Volunteers to begin to take a step forward. There are still some questions marks on this team, especially along the offensive line where they need to rebuild the entire unit and at quarterback where they have four different guys vying for playing time. You have to think one of them will emerge and take a stranglehold on that job. Whoever does it, whether Worley, Dobbs, Peterman or possibly even Ferguson they will have a lot of weapons to get the ball to. At wide receiver Marquez North is poised to become one of the SEC's best receivers and Josh Malone and Von Pearson look like big time weapons. Their biggest new addition may be 6'3 225 pound true freshmen tailback Jalen Hurd. Hurd is a monster of a young man who looks like he has the potential to be a heck of an SEC running back and sharing time with Marlin Lane the Vols have some good options.
On the defensive side of the ball the Vols are lead by returning senior A.J. Johnson and have a lot of young players returning that gained experience last season. Their biggest question on the defensive side of the ball is who is going to be able to consistently get pressure on the quarterback and whether or not they have improved their team speed enough. Last season that was the Vols glaring weakness when you watched them on the field against SEC competition, they were getting run by on a regular basis. That led to the Vols defense giving up an incredible amount of big plays. The Vols addressed that in the 2014 Recruiting Class and don't be surprised if you see a lot of young players on the field early and often.If nobody emerges at the quarterback position and the offensive line struggles to gel this fall then the Vols may slide back in these rankings but right now the Vol fans have a reason to be optimistic.
#9 - Ole Miss Rebels
#10 - Florida Gators
#11 - Missouri Tigers
#12 - Arkansas Razorbacks
#13 - Vanderbilt Commodores
#14 - Kentucky Wildcats
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