Jeremy Pruitt revealed an interesting piece of information on Wednesday after practice. Brandon Johnson, a reserve senior Tennessee receiver, will be taking a voluntary redshirt and return to the Vols in 2020.
Tennessee will see its top two receivers exit the program at the end of this season. Both Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway have been huge playmakers for Tennessee, but both are playing in their final seasons. Reserve receiver Tyler Byrd is as well. That’s quite a few snaps for the coaching staff to replace in 2020.
Josh Palmer, Ramel Keyton and Cedric Tillman figured to be the top options for the Volunteers next year, but Johnson’s decision will certainly boost that room. This is big news considering both Jacquez Jones and Jordan Murphy have already left the program this year.
“It’s one of the things that me and Brandon talked about,” Pruitt said on Wednesday night. “I thought about it early on in fall camp with Jauan, Marquez and Josh Palmer. Those three guys, especially with some of the younger guys — Cedric Tillman and Ramel Keyton having some success there in fall camp. We talked about it a little bit as a staff. Then I met with Brandon and his mom and dad and we’ve decided to (redshirt).”
Johnson appeared in the first four games for Tennessee, but didn’t play last week against Georgia.
The 6-2, 195 pound receiver actually led Tennessee in receiving yards back in 2017 with 482. Johnson worked out of the slot mainly, catching passes from both Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano. The former three-star recruit should have a fantastic shot in 2020 of being a huge contributor in this offense, bridging the gap to the next group of Tennessee receivers.