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Leaders are emerging for Tennessee, according to Jeremy Pruitt

A couple of defenders are stepping up to the plate.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at West Virginia Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has been pretty tight lipped about who he thinks the leaders on this 2018 Vols team are. Pruitt has defaulted to himself or assistant coaches when asked, but he changed his tune this week.

During this week’s Vol Calls segment, Pruitt finally singled out a couple of players that have emerged in that spot.

“One guy that has really stuck out to me in the last few weeks is Darrell Taylor. I see the guy competing every day. He has a smile on his face. He’s ready to go to work, so that’s a good thing. And there’s lots of guys. I see Nigel Warrior. I jumped his tail pretty good today at practice, and just by the way he responds. It’s kind of one of those deals about, ‘Coach me, Coach.’ I mean, he (said) let’s take it, let’s get it, let’s get it corrected and let’s fix it.

”We’re moving in the right direction, and I think as this season goes, that kind of stuff is contagious and what you want is you want a team full of guys that way, and I think we’re headed in that direction. I mentioned those two guys, and they’re not the only ones. We got others.” (Via 247 Sports)

Darrell Taylor emerged on the field against Florida and Georgia, getting consistent pressure and finding a way to get home three times against the Bulldogs. He could potentially be the missing piece to this defense. Pruitt noted that there are a few others that have emerged, but chose to only single out Taylor and Warrior.

It’s encouraging to hear both he and Nigel Warrior being called leaders by their head coach. This roster seemed to be lacking in that department, dating back to last season when things snowballed out of control.

We’ve said it over and over, but I just want to see progress out of these 2018 Vols. You want to see them steal a win or two down the stretch. You want to see them competing with a struggling Auburn team this weekend. Having leaders and establishing a winning culture is a part of that. Maybe, just maybe, that will turn into some wins in the near future.