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Tennessee’s biggest needs, top targets on the 2018 recruiting trail

Butch Jones

KEVIN JAIRAJ/USA TODAY SPORTS

Tennessee heads into the 2018 recruiting cycle with plenty of pressing needs despite what Butch Jones has done in his tenure in Knoxville.

Jones, who was hired in 2012, recruited at a surprisingly high level until the 2017 class, when the Vols stumbled a bit. UT missed out on a top-notch quarterback, two highly touted local receivers and finished with a class ranked No. 17 in the nation and No. 6 in the SEC.

The shortcomings were to be expected as the Vols had to overcome several coaching changes. Now, with a full staff, the Vols hope to address the following areas on the recruiting trail in 2018.

1. Quarterback: One glance at UT’s depth chart and this wouldn’t seem like a major concern. But it could quickly become one. Most expect either junior Quintin Dormady or redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano to win the starting job. Sophomore Sheriron Jones also could be considered, but Dormady has experience and the reviews of Guarantano have been positive. It’s possible that the loser(s) of the quarterback battle could transfer and what looks like a deep roster of quarterbacks could become thin. Securing a quarterback in the 2018 class is key.

2. Offensive line: The Vols will lose four key seniors from their offensive line after the 2017 season, and each has been a major contributor. UT has seven scholarship offensive linemen who are freshmen or sophomores. The Vols were forced to play some freshmen last season that they would have preferred to redshirt. That only amps up the pressure in the 2018 class.

3. Defensive backs: The Vols have seven defensive backs who are juniors or seniors and will play key roles this season. They’ll need to re-stock the ranks in the 2018 class.

Read on as recruiting editor Ryan Green takes a look at 10 prospects sure to entice the Tigers in the 2018 class. The players are listed alphabetically.

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