2020 Spring Position Preview: Defensive Backs

#27

sjt18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
39,184
Likes
20,340
#27
Alontae Taylor is the closest thing to a lock at a starting position as it gets. Not sure why fans think he's a weak link as he's one of the best players on the team.
He made a few mistakes that some apparently can't let go of. However he improved over the course of the year and became one of the surest tacklers on the team. I like Taylor and expect a big year out of him.... for that matter I like the D overall. There could be some lack of depth at LB and UT still hasn't found a true edge rusher in the sense they seem to want. But even without that last year they managed to get sacks and pressure at critical times.

Really, really like the progression from where they were under Jones to where they are now.
 
Likes: MemphisVol77
#29

RockyTopTexas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,296
Likes
1,499
#29
Alontae Taylor is the closest thing to a lock at a starting position as it gets. Not sure why fans think he's a weak link as he's one of the best players on the team.
He was clearly the weak link in the position group.. what where you watching this season. He took major steps toward the end of the season tho I’ll say that. He is a lock but not the closest thing by any means. Pruitt plugged and played his spot after the BYU game. Bryce by far the surest lock followed by Jaylen
 
Likes: tennvols77
#31
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
3,353
Likes
3,422
#31
He was clearly the weak link in the position group.. what where you watching this season. He took major steps toward the end of the season tho I’ll say that. He is a lock but not the closest thing by any means. Pruitt plugged and played his spot after the BYU game. Bryce by far the surest lock followed by Jaylen
He got better, and as some have stated he might be better suited at FS. Should be a fun spring to see how things shake up.
 
#32

butchna

Sit down and tell me all about it...way over there
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
72,801
Likes
91,270
#32
Alontae Taylor is the closest thing to a lock at a starting position as it gets. Not sure why fans think he's a weak link as he's one of the best players on the team.
On defense? Toto’s a lock and Bryce. Everyone else’s spot’s open for competition. If I had to bet, I’d say Emerson and Taylor are the next most certain.
 
#33

PulaskiVolFan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
4,000
Likes
3,835
#33
He was clearly the weak link in the position group.. what where you watching this season. He took major steps toward the end of the season tho I’ll say that. He is a lock but not the closest thing by any means. Pruitt plugged and played his spot after the BYU game. Bryce by far the surest lock followed by Jaylen
He wasn't the weak link and has never been the week link. In 2 seasons he's gotten beat long 2-3 times at most. Teams hardly ever throw his way because his guy is seldom open. Our other DBs have been beaten long more in one or 2 games than he has in 2 full seasons. He's one of the best athletes on the team, he's a big, physical corner and those that claim him to be a weak link simply don't know the position very well nor do they realize that Taylor is the closest thing we have to a lockdown CB on the outside part of the field. He is not and never has been a weak link. Henry T and Alontae will be team leaders on the defensive side this season.
 
#34

RockyTopTexas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,296
Likes
1,499
#34
He wasn't the weak link and has never been the week link. In 2 seasons he's gotten beat long 2-3 times at most. Teams hardly ever throw his way because his guy is seldom open. Our other DBs have been beaten long more in one or 2 games than he has in 2 full seasons. He's one of the best athletes on the team, he's a big, physical corner and those that claim him to be a weak link simply don't know the position very well nor do they realize that Taylor is the closest thing we have to a lockdown CB on the outside part of the field. He is not and never has been a weak link. Henry T and Alontae will be team leaders on the defensive side this season.
You sir are lost...(edit that was rude sorry) the only thing alonte has going for him is his length and maybe speed. Could improve mentally. ( he looks good in pads I’ll give you that bit don’t fish) I’ve played DB my entire life (not hyping myself) I have never made a play like he did in the BYU game... he got his spot taken by Kenneth George twice last year. He is nowhere close to Bryce either just saying
Also I think only 5 people lined up outside this year so not that much of stretch in that comment
 
Last edited:
#35

PulaskiVolFan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
4,000
Likes
3,835
#35
You sir are lost... the only thing alonte has going for him is his length and maybe speed. ( he looks good in pads I’ll give you that bit don’t fish) I’ve played DB my entire life (not hyping myself) I have never made a play like he did in the BYU game... he got his spot taken by Kenneth George twice last year. He is nowhere close to Bryce either just saying
Also I think only 5 people lined up outside this year so not that much of stretch in that comment
The BYU play is one of the few times he gave up anything long. Go watch the tape Mr DB my whole life, Alontae Taylor doesn't give up receptions as teams simply don't throw his way as his guy is never open. Show me tape of him getting beat other than the BYU play, I doubt you can find 5 times in the last 2 years where he got beat bad. I also don't think he's given up a completion on a fade route in the endzone in 2 seasons. He's a strength of the team, not a weakness.
 
#36

RockyTopTexas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,296
Likes
1,499
#36
The BYU play is one of the few times he gave up anything long. Go watch the tape Mr DB my whole life, Alontae Taylor doesn't give up receptions as teams simply don't throw his way as his guy is never open. Show me tape of him getting beat other than the BYU play, I doubt you can find 5 times in the last 2 years where he got beat bad. I also don't think he's given up a completion on a fade route in the endzone in 2 seasons. He's a strength of the team, not a weakness.
Nobody said he was a weakness of the team. Also don’t be a dick there small guy makes you sound little and insignificant. I said I think he’s the weakest of the position group DBs. He starts dude nobody is trying to take that away we are just stating observations. People like you make the forums go a long way bro. He started 6 games this year FYI
He’s not better than Bryce not better than Jaylen. He’s better than Trevon but 2 years of injuries to it’s debatable
 
Last edited:
#37

PulaskiVolFan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Messages
4,000
Likes
3,835
#37
Nobody said he was a weakness of the team. Also don’t be a dick there small guy makes you sound little and insignificant. I said I think he’s the weakest of the position group DBs. He starts dude nobody is trying to take that away we are just stating observations. People like you make the forums go a long way bro. He started 6 games this year FYI
He’s not better than Bryce not better than Jaylen. He’s better than Trevon but 2 years of injuries to it’s debatable
If you played DB and we stood side by side then you'd be the little one. As for Taylor then we'd have to agree to disagree. I don't see how anybody would call Alontae Taylor a weak link. Had you said McCullough, Burrell or George were the weakest I'd have agreed even though all 3 show potential but none have come close to playing at Taylor's level. He's also one of the best open field tacklers on the team and hits harder than any current DB on the team. I bet in the end that he gets drafted higher than Thompson when it's all said and done.
 
#38

RockyTopTexas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Messages
1,296
Likes
1,499
#38
If you played DB and we stood side by side then you'd be the little one. As for Taylor then we'd have to agree to disagree. I don't see how anybody would call Alontae Taylor a weak link. Had you said McCullough, Burrell or George were the weakest I'd have agreed even though all 3 show potential but none have come close to playing at Taylor's level. He's also one of the best open field tacklers on the team and hits harder than any current DB on the team. I bet in the end that he gets drafted higher than Thompson when it's all said and done.
Lolz... So I just went through the GState game “highlights” Got burned twice no throw, missed a tackle on 3rd and 10 for a first down, missed a forced fumble attempt and got carried 5 yards for a first down, GOT HIS ASS SHOOK by Ellington on a 22 yd touchdown run. Those were just the highlights. We can skip the BYU game. Keep those eyes up
 
#39

sjt18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
39,184
Likes
20,340
#39
Lolz... So I just went through the GState game “highlights” Got burned twice no throw, missed a tackle on 3rd and 10 for a first down, missed a forced fumble attempt and got carried 5 yards for a first down, GOT HIS ASS SHOOK by Ellington on a 22 yd touchdown run. Those were just the highlights. We can skip the BYU game. Keep those eyes up
Compare to some of the late games. He improved a lot.
How many guys missed a tackle on that play? Warrior and Shamburger missed first and worst. Because they didn't set the corner properly the QB got to the second level.
 
Likes: Ratvol
#42

Roustabout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
16,242
Likes
11,623
#42
It's that time again, March is but days away, and the sweet smell of spring practice will soon be in there air. So let's put away those zany off season threads, it's time for position previews to start pouring in. Go Vols in 2020!!


2020 Spring Position Preview: Defensive Backs | Rocky Top Insider


From the article:

Seniors: Baylen Buchanan (RS), Kenneth George Jr. (RS), Theo Jackson, Shawn Shamburger

Juniors: Trevon Flowers, Cheyenne Labruzza (RS), Alontae Taylor, Bryce Thompson

Sophomores: Aaron Beasley, Warren Burrell, Brandon Davis (RS), Jaylen McCollough, Kenney Solomon

"Tennessee loses All-SEC safety Nigel Warrior from their secondary after the 2019 season, but they return every other major contributor in the defensive backfield heading into spring practices."

The Vols’ secondary will receive even more competition in the summer and fall when 2020 signees Keshawn Lawrence, Doneiko Slaughter, and Tamarion McDonald all arrive on campus. Lawrence and Slaughter in particular could provide a challenge to UT’s upperclassmen for starting jobs."

At safety, both starting jobs are likely up for grabs this spring and fall. Theo Jackson, Trevon Flowers, and Jaylen McCollough all started alongside Warrior in 2019, but none of them were able to hold on to the starting job completely for one reason or another. For Flowers, it was another injury that cut his season short. Just like his freshman year, Flowers suffered a significant injury that deprived him of valuable playing time. When Flowers has been healthy, he’s been effective, totaling 26 tackles, an interception, and two passes defended in 13 games.

Unfortunately for Flowers, he’s not been able to play a full season. But if he’s fully healthy in the spring, he has an opportunity to stand out.

Jackson was a solid contributor, but he wasn’t exactly flashy and had some consistency issues. Jaylen McCollough came on strong to close out the year as a freshman, and he’ll be one of the more intriguing players to keep an eye on this spring. He has all the tools to succeed as a run-stopping safety, and he has a knack for making plays as a pass defender, too.

Tyus Fields will likely compete at safety as well, and Brandon Davis should also be in the mix. If he remains in the secondary, Aaron Beasley will also get a shot. But Beasley practiced a lot at linebacker during the season because of UT’s lack of numbers there, so it remains to be seen if he’ll stay there or move back to the defensive backfield. Kwauze Garland, who was awarded a scholarship late in the 2019 season, could receive time at either safety or STAR.

Speaking of the STAR and nickel spot, that’s Shawn Shamburger’s job to lose. Shamburger was quietly one of the Vols’ most effective defensive backs last season, especially as a blizter. Shamburger totaled three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, as well as an interception and three passes defended in 13 games and 12 starts.

Barring injury or some unforeseen circumstance, Shamburger will be the main STAR/nickel player again for the Vols. But he should still have some competition this spring.

Baylen Buchanan missed all of last season as he dealt with a spinal issue that threatened to end his playing career. Though nothing has been confirmed by Tennessee, Buchanan’s posts on social media seem to indicate that he’ll be ready to give practice a try this spring. If he can go, he’ll give Shamburger some competition and could be a nice veteran backup option. Tyus Fields could also play at STAR, as could Cheyenne Labruzza.

On the outside, both Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson are penciled in as Tennessee’s starting corners. Taylor struggled at times in 2019, and Warren Burrell pushed him even once Bryce Thompson returned from suspension. But Burrell faded down the stretch, and Taylor started playing better later in the year. Still, Burrell will be a player to watch this spring, and rising redshirt senior Kenneth George Jr. should make some noise, too. George rather quietly produced at a solid level for UT last season, appearing in all 13 games and making six starts. He made 19 tackles, an interception, and three pass breakups.

Kenney Solomon — who was also rewarded a scholarship late in the 2019 season — has a lot of speed and height, but he still needs to put on some weight. If he can make a big leap from his first year to his second, he could be a surprise this spring.

All in all, Tennessee’s group of defensive backs should be a strength for the Vols on defense. The secondary returns a lot of experience, and they’re battled tested over the last few years. The younger players have a lot of upside as well, and there’s a unique blend of athletes in this group heading into the spring.
About the only area I would criticize recent recruiting. Pruitt has left this position woefully thin. If Taylor or Thompson go down it’s a big problem.
 
#44

LittleVol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
7,976
Likes
9,528
#44
About the only area I would criticize recent recruiting. Pruitt has left this position woefully thin. If Taylor or Thompson go down it’s a big problem.
?? If any teams starting two Cbs go down that will be a problem for them.

Bryce did miss time last year. We had Burrell-a true freshman - and George- suspended most of summer as guy to plug in.

Both got better over the season. Throw in Solomon who is faster than all of them and has showed good instincts. Not to mention Key Lawrence is a stud. We're much better off than last year.
 

VN Store




Sponsors
 

Top