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Can Vols LB Can Arion Carter become the next Tennessee Football defensive superstar?

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It’s understandable that Josh Heupel would be known for offense after three seasons with Tennessee Football. He’s an offensive coach. That’s his calling card. Well, it may be time to flip the deck.

Arion Carter comes a rising star headed into summer workouts for a couple of reasons. First, he wasn’t healthy last season so he needs to return to 100-percent, which he already has by multiple accounts. Second, Tennessee only has a handful of players of Carter’s caliber so they need all they can get from their best players. The Vols are deeper than previous seasons, but still not deep enough.

Carter is thought to be an incredible playmaker that was supposed to be able to showcase his ability last season when starting middle linebacker Keenan Pili was injured and deemed out for the season in September. Carter is more of an outside linebacker, however, and figures to star in that role with Pili back in the lineup this season.

If Carter is banged up again, things could get dicey. The Vols have a natural middle linebacker with Pili but don’t have an established outside linebackers, including Carter, with vast experience. If not Carter, the Vols would likely turn to Jeremiah Telander. However, he’s more of an inside linebacker. Kalib Perry and Edwin Spillman are also in the mix.

Tennessee Football probably wins a game they lost last season if Carter is 100-percent healthy all year. He has the ability to change a game with a key stop or an impact play, like a strip sack. Carter has an opportunity to be one of the best linebackers Tennessee has had in several years.

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Carter is just a sophomore. He hasn’t become a consistent star yet. While optimism is high, the former freshman phenom has to prove it on the field. Tennessee might be able to win a championship with a great offense and an average defense, but a few defensive stars wouldn’t hurt. Carter could easily be that.

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