Tennessee had only two receivers in their 2019 class and are currently in search of more for their 2020 group. However, that didn’t stop the coaching staff from experimenting with one of their 2019 signees at a new position to open fall camp.
Jerrod Means signed with the Vols as a receiver on signing day last winter, but opened fall camp playing defensive back. According to head coach Jeremy Pruitt, it’s a move that will stick for the rest of fall camp.
“We’re just making sure we can get the best players on the field,” Pruitt told the media on Friday. “We have guys with experience on the offensive side at wide receiver. We have four senior wide receivers.”
Tennessee isn’t hurting for experienced, capable receivers. Marquez Callaway, Josh Palmer and Jauan Jennings slot in as the top three options for the Vols, while Brandon Johnson, Jordan Murphy and Tyler Byrd will provide depth. So while Means may have a future at the position, now is the time to try something if you want to try it.
“We think Jerrod’s a really good athlete, and we want to make sure that we have the best 22 guys on the field, so we’re just giving him a look,” Pruitt said. “He played wide receiver the first month of the summer, which we’re not really out there, so there’s not a whole lot of feedback. But he played the last half of the summer at defensive back. We’re going to work him for this camp at corner to give him an opportunity to contribute.”
Means is 6-2, 214 pounds, ranking as the 1893rd ranked player in the 2019 class, according to 247 Sports. The Tennessee coaching staff praised his 4.4 speed when Means signed with the Volunteers, defending his lower recruiting ranking.
With Tennessee graduating four receivers after the season, it will be interesting to see if Means flips back to offense ahead of 2020.