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Steele: Tennessee returns the 2nd most experienced offensive line in the nation

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OL should be a strength this year.

Outback Bowl - Northwestern v Tennessee Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

At long last, it appears that the offensive line is set to be a strength for Tennessee — at least in theory. If you believe that experience translates into on-field success, then you’re probably excited about the potential of this 2017 group.

According to Phil Steele, Tennessee is returning the 2nd most starts in the country along the offensive line.

Tennessee finally has some experience up front, along with depth. Coleman Thomas, Jashon Robertson and Brett Kendrick lead the group as seniors. Jack Jones and Chance Hall round out the group as juniors, with number one overall recruit Trey Smith coming in as a freshman. Add in Drew Richmond, Venzell Boulware and Marcus Tatum and you’ve got a nice blend of youth and experience.

There’s plenty of depth and competition there. Very little is set in stone here — everyone will have a chance to compete. It’s going to be fun to watch Trey Smith come in and work with the upperclassmen. Early reports are that he looks like he belongs.

We’ll see if that addition, plus all the returning experience, can translate to a more efficient offensive attack in 2017.