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Tennessee Football top 5 true freshmen for 2024

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Josh Heupel will be relying on experience and a generational quarterback to overcome talent disadvantages in certain games this year, but that doesn’t mean Tennessee Football doesn’t have a few young guns who could make an immediate impact. Some may start. Here are the five key true freshmen Vols entering the season.

5. Braylon Staley

Squirrel White is the main slot receiver for the Vols this year, but with Dont’e Thornton moving back to wideout, UT could use more depth there. A four-star from South Carolina standing at 6’0″ 180 pounds, Staley has the potential to continue Heupel’s tradition of star receivers in the slot. Could he follow in Jalin Hyatt’s footsteps? They are similar sizes and from the same state after all.

4. Max Anderson

While the starting rotation is all but set for Tennessee Football on the offensive line, the Vols still need depth there. Heupel brought in a solid class, but Max Anderson is the best bet of the true freshmen to get into the rotation. He is already seasoned, having played in Texas for high school ball, and at 6’5″ 310 pounds, he is already the right size to step in.

3. Mike Matthews

Just like Braylon Staley, Mike Matthews provides depth for the Vols at receiver. However, he does so at wideout. Also, Matthews could start. UT is loaded there with Bru McCoy, Thornton and Chris Brazzell II, but Matthews by all accounts is a rare talent, so he and Nico Iamaleava could have a wavelength. He was a five-star for a reason.

2. Peyton Lewis

Here we reach players the Vols need. With Jaylen Wright gone to the NFL and questions about Cam Seldon, UT doesn’t have a feature back. Dylan Sampson is an all-purpose back, and Khalifa Keith is a power back. That leaves Peyton Lewis to get the bulk of the carries. He didn’t take part in spring ball, but if he doesn’t become the starter, Rocky Top will have an issue.

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1. Boo Carter

Once again, Tennessee Football needs Boo Carter. Believe it or not, they’re actually a bit deeper in the secondary than at running back because of what Heupel did in the transfer portal, but Carter’s raw talent and potential outweighs Lewis’, so by a small margin, he gets the edge. Expect Carter to push for Freshman All-American status by the end of the year.

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