Only 28% of Vols roster has more than one start; UT by the numbers

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

With fall football practice just over a month away and SEC Football Media Days approaching, it’s a good time to take a look at the University of Tennessee’s football roster.

My breakdown in this week’s blog, Vince’s View Powered By Oak Ridge Nissan, studies the experience on the Vols roster by the numbers and scholarships by position.

Scholarships (including two players in 2018 class not yet enrolled)
QBs = 4
RBs = 6
WRs = 10
TEs = 7
OLs = 15
DLs = 11
LBs = 14
DBs = 15
STs = 3
Total = 85

Scholarship Players By Class
RS Sr – 7
Sr – 3
RS Jr – 10
Jr – 10
RS So – 10
So – 19
RS Fr – 8
Fr – 18
Total = 85

*46-of-85 1st or 2nd year players (54%)
*10 of 85 are seniors (12%)

Games Played/Starts Total By-Position
QBs = 34/20
RBs = 56/9
WRs = 110/38
TEs = 44/2
OLs = 85/51
DLs = 82/14
LBs = 180/52
DBs = 197/54
STs = 3/0
Total = 791/240

Players That Have Started At Least Once In College Football
Offense – 18
Defense – 15
Total = 33 (39% of the roster has started a game…61% of the roster hasn’t)

Players That Have Started More Than One Game In College Football
Offense – 14
Defense – 10
Total = 24 (28% of the roster has more than one start…72% of the roster hasn’t)

*Vols lost 866 GPs & 391 Starts off of last season’s team

Most Games Played In College Football – Tennessee
1. LB Dillon Bates – 40
1. S Todd Kelly Jr. – 40
3. S Micah Abernathy – 36
4. DE Kyle Phillips – 29
5. WR Jauan Jennings – 26
5. RB Madre London – 26 (Michigan St)
7. LS (punts) Riley Lovingood – 25
8. S Nigel Warrior – 24
8. WR Tyler Byrd – 24
8. LB Jonathan Kongbo – 24
11. LS (kicks) Elijah Medford – 23
11. DT Shy Tuttle – 23
11. QB Keller Chryst – 23 (Stanford)
14. WR Brandon Johnson – 21
14. LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. – 21
14. LB Daniel Bituli – 21
17. CB Marquill Osborne – 20

Most College Football Starts – Tennessee
1. S Micah Abernathy – 22
2. S Todd Kelly Jr. – 16
2. LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. – 16
4. WR Jauan Jennings – 15
5. OT Drew Richmond – 13
5. OT Chance Hall – 13
5. S Nigel Warrior – 13
5. QB Keller Chryst – 13 (Stanford)
9. OT/G Trey Smith – 12
9. LB Jonathan Kongbo – 12
11. WR Marquez Callaway – 10

Summary: The Vols have a fair amount of games played, but many of those players don’t have starting experience. You could very well have 7 or more starters in game one versus West Virginia with just one game or no games starting experience under their belt. The grad transfers help this youthful squad some, but this roster is still inexperienced overall in meaningful game action. The hope for UT fans is that the players will prosper and develop under this coaching staff and schemes. If these players that haven’t played big roles before (many despite high recruiting star ratings) because they were either misevaluated or overrated by the recruiting services, then Jeremy Pruitt’s rebuild will take longer with the need to bring in new players. If these players prosper under Pruitt, then you know what that means for the previous coaching staff.

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