National Signing Day Preview: Tennessee's Special Teams Depth Chart By Class

In preparation for National Signing Day, we looked at Tennessee's defensive depth chart by class yesterday and the Vols' offensive depth chart by class Monday. Today, we look at special teams. Gone are senior punter Chad Cunningham and senior placekickers Daniel Lincoln and Devin Mathis. Still here? These guys:

SPECIAL TEAMS
Position
Seniors
Juniors
Sophomores
Redshirt Freshmen
P Chip Rhome (0/0)   Michael Palardy (11/0) Matt Darr (0/0)
PK     Michael Palardy (11/0)  
DS Nick Guess (14/0); T.J. Marrs (0/0)   J.R. Carr (0/0)  
Projected starters in bold. Yeah, nothing's bold. Returning starters in italics. Numbers in parentheses are games/starts.

Observations

That's it. The chart, of course, doesn't attempt to identify who's going to be returning kicks or punts, as those guys are generally pulled from other units.

Nick Guess will be the deep snapper, and although he's not listed as ever having started, I think that's probably because they just don't consider a deep snapper as ever starting even if he's the first guy in the game to do it. I mean, who begins the game with a punt or field goal on the first play, right? Okay, Les Miles maybe. (And yes, I realize that whatever unit takes the field second doesn't actually "start" the game, either, but that's my best guess. Well, that and special teams discrimination, which is a plague on society.)

Anyway, I'd say we're going to get a healthy dose of Palardy on kickoffs and possibly on punts, although the coaches could decide to split the duties and let Darr punt. Either way, kickers are notorious for grabbing a position early in their careers and having to have it pried from their cold, graduated hands, so these are likely our guys for the next three years. If something happens to either one of them, Rhome could probably fill in, but I'd think you'd want one more young guy coming in just in case.

Tomorrow, we'll tie all of this together, looking at what we need out of this year's recruiting class and comparing it to our current list of commits and prospects. See ya then.

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