After monitoring buzz through the spring, summer and now a portion of fall camp, 247 Sports has released its annual Preseason Freshman All-American team for the 2019 season. Tennessee had several candidates that could have made the cut as the Vols are set to lean heavily on a few youngsters this season.
The Volunteers ended up with three on the list, but maybe not who you were expecting. You could probably guess five-star tackle Wanya Morris and four-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o, but how about three-star freshman cornerback Warren Burrell?
The Georgia native was the lowest ranked player on the list, according to 247’s ranking of the 2019 recruiting class. Burrell was just the 527th best player in the class, according to that metric. Today, he sits as a freshman All-American.
Burrell has been pushing sophomores Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson for playing time, something I’m not sure anyone saw coming. With the murky situation of senior cornerback Baylen Buchanan, the door is even more wide open for Burrell to get big time playing time right off the bat.
Morris and To’oto’o are the more traditional selections of Tennessee’s trio. Morris is set to start the season at left tackle, while To’oto’o could very well start beside senior inside linebacker Daniel Bituli. Both To’oto’o and Morris were top 50 prospects in the 2019 class.
Elsewhere, two more top 50 prospects in Darnell Wright and Quavaris Crouch could have easily made the cut as well. Wright is battling for a starting position at right tackle with veteran tackle Marcus Tatum. Crouch has settled into an outside linebacker role for now and will perhaps give Tennessee some much needed juice coming off the edge this fall.
In just a matter of days now, we’ll get our first chance to see these freshmen live up to the hype. Tennessee opens their 2019 season at home against Georgia State on Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 p.m. ET.