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Could Tennessee Football OL John Campbell Jr. be Vols’ Darnell Wright of 2024?

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The following is a countdown of the most important Tennessee football players heading into summer workouts. Coming in at No. 9 is OT John Campbell Jr.

Ok. So he’s not as athletic as Darnell Wright was, and he doesn’t come as highly touted. However, like Wright, Tennessee Football offensive lineman is moving from left tackle to right tackle for what will be his final year of college. This is why Campbell is the 9th most important Vol heading into the 2024 season.


Campbell, who transferred to the Vols from the Miami Hurricanes, stands at 6’5″ 330 pounds. Wright stood at 6’6″ 335 pounds. Emerging as a reliable blocker for the Vols, Campbell showed raw talent last year but often committed too many mistakes.

Glen Elarbee, however, has shown an ability to develop linemen for Tennessee Football who already have starting experience. Cooper Mays is the anchor at center, and Javontez Spraggins at right guard may be the best run-blocker in the SEC.

What if?

Now, with the Vols adding another guy with even more raw talent in Lance Heard, Campbell will be responsible for protecting Nico Iamaleava from his right side. In many ways, given the mobility expected of quarterbacks and the vision they need to make throws, that’s as important as left tackle nowadays.

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Given Campbell’s raw talent and experience in the system, he should be the perfect fit to handle that. Elarbee and Josh Heupel have shown success flipping tackles with Wright and Jeremiah Crawford, and it almost always works out better moving from the left side to the right side.


As a result, Campbell gives Vol fans plenty of reason for excitement this year. He’s almost a sure bet, and he can complete what should be a dominant right side of the offensive line. If Iamaleava balls out in the process, look for Campbell to turn into a national sensation.

Worth noting

That’s not likely to turn him into a top 10 pick the way Wright was with the Chicago Bears two years ago, but he could go in the first three rounds of the 2025 NFL Draft depending on what he does for Tennessee Football. There’s no doubt the raw talent is there.

Coming up at No. 8: Ricky Gibson

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