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With Tennessee Football LB Aaron Beasley finally at his natural position, what’s in-store for the Vols senior?

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Tennessee Football linebacker Aaron Beasley is tough to figure out headed into this season. Is he an emerging superstar or just another linebacker? Well, that depends on a couple of things.

Beasley looked average at times last season when he was playing middle linebacker, which wasn’t his ideal position. He and former Vol Jeremy Banks had a similar skillset, so Beasley was stuck in the middle of the tackle box, playing the run more than would be ideal and not able to create havoc as a pass rusher. Now, Banks is gone, and an offseason personnel move has changed the face of the Vols’ defensive front. That problem of Beasley playing out of position should be solved.

BYU transfer Keenan Pili is an old-school, traditional linebacker that should be able to hold down the middle linebacker position this season. That would allow Beasley to make more plays, often times from the weakside of the offensive formation, which would allow Tennessee Football to be even more explosive on defense. The Vols were second in the SEC last season in tackles for a loss and sixth in the conference in sacks. 

“Uber-aggressive, play really fast—that’s the mindset for us,” Beasley said when asked what the identity of the Vols should be this season. “Just attacking. We blitz a lot, so just playing in the opponent’s backfield. Affecting the line of scrimmage, affecting the quarterback, really just uber aggressive.”

That starts Saturday when the Vols play Virginia in Nashville against quarterback Tony Muskett, who was a standout at Monmouth before transferring to be a Cavalier. If the Vols are more disruptive than they were last season, it could be a long afternoon for the Cavs.

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“I like where we’re at,” Beasley said. “I like what I’ve seen at camp and the past couple of practices. I think we’ve just got to keep improving. We haven’t seen what we look like against someone other than our offense. I like us, I like our depth, I like the talent we have. I just can’t wait to see when Saturday comes.”

The anticipation is palpable for Beasley this week. Likewise, the anticipation of his potential play this season is something that Tennessee Football fans are having trouble keeping in check. Virginia gave up 3.4 sacks per game, which ranked 121st of the 131 FBS teams. There will be plays to be had on Saturday.

Beasley and Pili aren’t the only linebackers that should excite Tennessee fans. Freshman Arion Carter has lived up to his recruiting billing. The Vols may not be deep at linebacker, but they should be very good and perhaps one of the more explosive groups of linebackers in the SEC. Of course, that will depend on Beasley and what kind of player he grows into this season. Maybe he’s not so tough to figure out after all.

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