Frankly, there are a lot of wildcards for Tennessee in 2017. You could go a number of different directions on both sides of the ball, but Athlon Sports locked in on these two players for the Volunteers.
The first being the most obvious — potential starting quarterback Quinten Dormady. Whoever takes over under center for Joshua Dobbs will be the key of the Tennessee offense, so this pick makes sense. Whether it be Dormady or Jarrett Guarantano — both are almost total unknowns.
Here’s what Athlon had to say.
Dormady had a terrific spring game, completing all 10 of his pass attempts for 120 yards and two touchdowns. And, of course, he’s the older player — and when competitions like this one seem too close to call, the veteran always has the upper hand. Whoever the quarterback is, the pressure will be on him to deliver in a crucial year for Butch Jones and Co.
Defensively, Athlon went a non-obvious route. They tabbed safety Nigel Warrior. The Tennessee legacy didn’t see much action with the defense last season until late, contributing mainly on special teams.
He seems like he’s a year out from starting with Todd Kelly Jr. and Micah Abernathy returning. However, Warrior may the best of his additional reps with Abernathy dealing with a should issue this spring. He should absolutely see plenty of playing time no matter what this Fall.
Warrior made an immediate impact last year as a freshman, tallying 22 tackles and seeing extensive playing time in the secondary when others were hurt. The son of Vols legend Dale Carter, the awesomely named Warrior made an impact on special teams as well.
I would probably opt for a guy like Shaq Wiggins for my defensive wildcard. We as Tennessee fans have seen him at Georgia, but we don’t know what he’s going to bring in an extended role. He’s a likely starter and may be tasked with filling the shoes of Cameron Sutton.
Who are your picks for offensive and defensive wildcards?