In this spring's recruiting recap, I observed that head coach Butch Jones "seems to have a significantly more active style of roster management", noting that the coaching staff had moved seven scholarship players with eligibility remaining off of the roster. Well, if once is a fluke then twice is a trend, as the Vols appear poised to once again be extremely active in moving players both on to and off of the scholarship roster. Below is a breakdown of current players and the numbers involved.
|Expected graduation year
|2015||Justin Coleman, Matt Darr, Brendan Downs, A.J. Johnson, Riyahd Jones, Marlin Lane, Marques Pair, Woody Quinn, Jordan Williams, Justin Worley, Devrin Young
|2016||Dontavius Blair, Cody Blanc, Mack Crowder, Pig Howard, Marcus Jackson, Johnathon Johnson, Kyler Kerbyson, Curt Maggitt, LaDarrell McNeil, Geraldo Orta, Von Pearson, Brian Randolph, Trevarris Saulsberry, Chris Weatherd, Owen Williams||15|
|2017||Drae Bowles, A.J. Branisel, George Bullock, Kenny Bynum, Jason Croom, Joshua Dobbs, Malik Foreman, Lemond Johnson, Justin King, LaTroy Lewis, Jaylen Miller, Marquez North, Danny O'Brien, Nathan Peterman, Jaylen Reeves-Maybin, Josh Smith, Devaun Swafford, Cameron Sutton, Corey Vereen, Dylan Wiesman||20|
|2018||Derek Barnett, Dillon Bates, Elliott Berry, Evan Berry, Gavin Bryant, Neiko Creamer, Rashaan Gaulden, Daniel Helm, Joe Henderson, Dewayne Hendrix, Jalen Hurd, Ryan Jenkins, Jakob Johnson, Todd Kelly, Jr., Brett Kendrick, Josh Malone, Cortez McDowell, Aaron Medley, Dimarya Mixon, Emmanuel Moseley, Charles Mosley, D'Andre Payne, Treyvon Paulk, Ray Raulerson, Jashon Robertson, Austin Sanders, Michael Sawyers, Derrell Scott, Coleman Thomas, Kendal VIckers, Vic Wharton, Ethan Wolf||32|
|Total recruited players||78|
|Total recruited players 2014
|Winter graduates||Coleman, Gilliam, Johnson, Pair, J. Williams||5|
|Likely spring graduates||Darr, Downs, Jones, Lane, Orta, Worley, Young||7|
|Confirmed transfers||Helm, Hendrix, Scott||3|
|Total recruited players 2015||62|
|Likely spring transfers||Peterman, Bowles, Quinn
|Likely roster size 2015||59|
|Available scholarships for 2015||26|
|NCAA scholarship limit||85|
On Saturday, eleven current members of the football team earned degrees from the University of Tennessee: Justin Coleman (Communication Studies), Mack Crowder (Marketing), Matt Giampapa (Economics), Jacob Gilliam (Political Science), AJ Johnson (Sociology), Curt Maggitt (Communication Studies), Marques Pair (Communication Studies), Nathan Peterman (Communication Studies), Brian Randolph (Management), Trevarris Saulsberry (Sociology), and Jordan Williams (Sociology). Vol For Life (and 2013 starter at outside linebacker) Dontavis Sapp also received his degree (Sociology).
Six of the players who graduated early have eligibility remaining and may pursue graduate degrees at Tennessee: Crowder, Giampapa, Maggitt, Peterman, Randolph and Saulsberry.
Expected Spring Graduates
Recruited players Matt Darr, Brendan Downs, Marlin Lane, Justin Worley, and Devrin Young have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and are expected to graduate in the spring semester. Despite having eligibility remaining, Riyahd Jones and Geraldo Orta are also expected to graduate and leave the football program, with both players having participated in Senior Day activities in 2014.
Derrell Scott, Dewayne Hendrix, and Daniel Helm have all been confirmed as transfers, although release details haven't been made public. There's no new information on other players who were rumored to be considering a transfer, with D'Andre Payne and Michael Sawyers the two names that have popped up.
Butch Jones announced three freshmen will transfer: TE Daniel Helm, DL Dewayne Hendrix and RB Derrell Scott.— Josh Ward (@Josh_Ward) December 14, 2014
Updated Scholarship Matrix
Although I don't expect this project to be completely accurate (because schools don't have a handy way to keep track of awarded scholarships), the scholarship matrix has been updated to account for expected transfers and to reflect position changes. The columns have also been relabeled by football season rather than graduation year to prevent confusion. Note that scholarships awarded to former walk-on players have not been tracked.
Quick Observations on the current roster:
- Tennessee needs running back depth behind starter Jalen Hurd. Alvin Kamara may be as good as advertised, but the Vols need to sign more than one other running back, even with players like Rocky Reid and Vincent Perry expected to be available.
- The Vols intend to take as many defensive ends as they can in the current class, with freshmen Dewayne Hendrix and Joe Henderson leaving and hybrid pass rushers Curt Maggitt and Chris Weatherd rising seniors.
- Offensive line numbers shouldn't be a problem for Tennessee. With Charles Mosley and Jashon Robertson moving to the offensive side of the ball, the Vols will have 16 scholarship players on the line next year, including 3 four star and 13 three star players.
|Tennessee Vols Scholarship Matrix|
|Total (60) ||2015 (14) ||2016 (19) ||2017 (27) ||HS Commits||JR Commits|
||Josh Dobbs, Nathan Peterman*||Quinten Dormady, Jauan Jennings||Austin Kendall|
||Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara**
||Rocky Reid, Vincent Perry
Cody Blanc, Pig Howard, Johnathon Johnson, Von Pearson*
|Jason Croom*, Marquez North, Josh Smith||Ryan Jenkins*, Josh Malone, Vic Wharton||Preston Williams|
||A.J. Branisel||Ethan Wolf, Neiko Creamer||Kyle Oliver||Darel Middleton|
||Mack Crowder*, Dontavius Blair, Marcus Jackson*, Kyler Kerbyson*||Dylan Wiesman||Brett Kendrick*, Ray Raulerson, Austin Sanders*, Coleman Thomas, Charles Mosley, Jashon Robertson||Chance Hall, Jack Jones, Zach Stewart, Venzell Boulware
||Trevarris Saulsberry* (DT), Owen Williams* (DT),||
LaTroy Lewis* (DE), Jaylen Miller (DE), Danny O'Brien* (DT), Corey Vereen (DE)
||Derek Barnett (DE), Dimarya Mixon (DT), Michael Sawyers (DT), Kendall Vickers*
Andrew Butcher (DE), Marques Ford (DE), Darrell Taylor (DE), Kahlil McKenzie (DT), Quay Picou (DT), Shy Tuttle (DT)
||Curt Maggitt, Chris Weatherd*||Kenny Bynum*, Justin King*, Jalen Reeves-Maybin||
Dillon Bates, Gavin Bryant, Jakob Johnson, Cortez McDowell
|Darrin Kirkland, Austin Smith||Emanuel Bridges|
||LaDarrell McNeil (S), Brian Randolph* (S)
||Malik Foreman, Lemond Johnson, Cameron Sutton (CB),||Elliott Berry, Evan Berry, Rashaan Gaulden, Todd Kelly, Jr. (S), Emmanuel Moseley (CB), D'Andre Payne (CB)
||Darrell Miller, Jocquez Bruce, Stephen Griffin (S), Micah Abernathy||Marquill Osborne, Bailey Phillips|
||George Bullock* (PK)||Aaron Medley (PK)||Tommy Townsend (P), Riley Lovingood (LS)|
|Key||* = Redshirt||** = JUCO commits not yet enrolled|