A 2021 class with four people left resulted in Tennessee Football having very few redshirt sophomores. That makes it the lightest class, combined with true sophomores, on the team. Still, the Vols have players of that year who could contribute. Here are the fop five UT sophomores.
5. Christian Harrison
Both Christian Harrison, the son of Rodney Harrison, and Jourdan Thomas are true sophomores who should back up starting safeties Jaylen McCollough and Wesley Walker. Andre Turrentine is a redshirt sophomore who could play. However, Harrison appears the most ready, and his pedigree gives him plenty of experience, so he’ll likely see a big jump in action this year.
4. James Pearce Jr.
Rocky Top is loaded at edge rusher and linebacker when it comes to sophomores. Joshua Josephs is another edge, and Elijah Herring and Caleb Williams should be future impact players at linebacker. All the talk so far, though, has been about James Pearce Jr, a potential star. He’ll likely be the first edge rusher off the bench after Tyler Baron and Roman Harrison, so watch out.
3. Tyre West
One of the most highly touted members of the 2022 Tennessee Football recruiting class, Tyre West is flying under the radar behind Bryson Eason, Omari Thomas, Elijah Simmons, Kurott Garland and Omarr Norman-Lott. However, Rodney Garner may go 12-deep this year, and West did have five tackles for a loss and two sacks last year.
2. Dylan Sampson
Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright are likely to split time as feature backs again, and Khalifa Keith was brought in as the power back. However, Dylan Sampson is the superstar all-purpose back. Drawing comparisons to Alvin Kamara, Sampson averaged nearly seven yards a carry last year and had just under 400 yards. He could explode this year.
1. Squirrel White
With Jalin Hyatt gone, Squirrel White is the favorite to start in the slot for Tennessee Football. White was Joe Milton III’s favorite target last year when both played in mop-up duty and ran off Jimmy Holiday and Jimmy Calloway into the transfer portal. He’ll compete with Dont’e Thornton for touches, but after 30 catches for 481 yards and two touchdowns last year, he should burst onto the scene this year.