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The Tennessee Volunteers need stelar play from their secondary for what could be a magical season on Rocky Top. The Vols turn to senior leader Cameron Sutton to set the tone in the secondary for guys like incoming freshman Nigel Warrior. The position is relatively deep. 

Senior Cameron Sutton will be the leader of this position group, with an incredible amount of talent, Cam could have entered his name into the 2016-NFL Draft but instead he came back to Tennessee to finish what he started. Sutton in 2015, had another good year. Sutton played in 12-games, piling up 27-tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 3-Tackles for a loss, and was a ball hawk. Not only was he there to break up an allotment of passes, he picked off one, and forced two fumbles. Cameron Sutton will continue to be a huge difference maker on this Vols defense making his impact known. 

Emmanuel Moseley will likely line-up opposite Cam Sutton, Moseley had a very good year in 2015 picking up 22-tackles, 5-assisted tackle, 2-tackles for a loss, and intercepting a pass. Moseley will be asked to do a little more this season. 

Todd Kelly Jr stands at 5'11, and 208-pounds, he is by-far the Vols biggest defensive back. Kelly, got 28-tackles, and 14-assisted as a safety last season, picking off 3-passes one of which a memorable play against the University of Oklahoma. Kelly was durable making it through all 13-games, he will not be wearing his normal number-6 however, as he changes his number to honor a local Knoxville hero. 

Evan Berry had a very good year at safety last season for the Vols, that is overlooked by his outstanding special teams play. On the special teams side of the ball, Berry collected 804-yards and 3 kick-off return touchdowns. The 5'11 207-pounder collected 14-tackles, 3-assisted, and picked-off a pass returning it for a touchdown against NorthWestern in the outback bowl. 

Malik Foreman had a solid yet under the radar season. Foreman picked off a pass, while picking up 22-solo tackles, 3-assisted tackles. Foreman added 2 tackles for a loss. Forenames 5'10 178-pounds, and he played in all 13-games. Foreman will be a good rotational piece in this secondary. 

Nigel Warrior splashes onto the scene as a 4-star recruit according to 247-Sports. The 6-foot 186-pounder will play mainly safety with a little slot corner mixed in. 

Recovering from a season-ending injury suffered in fall camp last year, Rashaan Gaulden will try to work back and make an impact on the Vols  secondary this season. Gaulden will play safety and slot corner also, like Nigel Warrior, as he works back from that devastating injury. 

Position group grade: B

Want more Vols news and notes? Follow @Rylan_Stiles on twitter. 

© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial

The Tennessee defensive line is loaded. The Vols deepest position is arguably the defensive line only to be rivaled by their outstanding running back core. From new additions like JUCO-transfer Jonathan Kongbo, to now veteran leaders like Derek Barnett, the Tennessee defensive line is poised to make a huge impact come September first and beyond. 

Derek Barnett will set the edge for the Vols, after having two outstanding years in 2014 and 15, Barnett will be a force to be wrecking with in his junior season. In 2015, Barnett collected 44-solo tackle, 25-assisted tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, collecting 10-sacks. The sacks number has been eye popping, in his freshman year Barnett sacked the QB 9-times. Barnett is no stranger to getting to the quarterback. Barnett will command a double team, helping out whoever is playing beside him. It would be hard to block the 6'3 257-pounder alone. According to multiple reports, Barnett has gotten even faster this off-season. Good luck to whoever has to block him. 

Jonathan Kongbo will likely come off the other edge for Tennessee. Kongbo, a Junior College transfer, that stands 6'6 and 270-pounds looks like Tarzan on the field. Kongbo will likely be a plug and play guy, with his size and ability he can make a huge impact for the Vols. Rated by 247 as a 4-star, Kongbo made waves this offseason off the field by taking to social media to guarantee to the Vols faithful that Tennessee will beat everyone, including Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. While coach Butch Jones preaches the new Vols slogan "Own It", it seems like Kongbo has bought in. 

Since the start of fall camp, coaches have raved about the transformation in Kahlil McKenzie. McKenzie comes into this year, down to 315-pounds. This will give him more speed and stamina something Butch Jones is very proud of. McKenzie didn't make quite the impact he wanted to in his freshman year. Mackenzie collected 12 solo tackles, and 24-assisted. He racked up one sack, and forced a fumble. McKenzie looks to be an even bigger impact this year. 

Shy Tuttle, had his season cut short due to an injury in the Georgia game that was a cheap shot at Tuttle. Tuttle is 6-2, 315-pounds, in just 5-games Tuttle collected 10 total tackles, 7 of which were assisted. He also recovered a fumble in 2015. Shy Tuttle has been very "Touch-and-go" thus far during fall camp. Jones expects Shy Tuttle to be ready for the start of the season. 

DL Position Grade: A

From one of the strongest positions on the team, to a rather week one. After you get past two great players leading the way for the linebacking core, the position is up for grabs. Names like Colten Jumper, and Dillon Bates could lead the charge to earn solid back up roles, but the Vols only have two solidified stars in their linebacking core. 

Jalen Reeves-Maybin leads the way for not only the linebackers but also the entire Tennessee team. Many stories have came out about him and they display the way he is a leader on and off the field. One story from SEC Media days, Jalen Reeves-Maybin made a slide show of plays displaying how the Vols can get 25-points better after losing all 4 of their games by a combined 25-points. On the field last year, Maybin was a force. He racked up 66-solo tackles, assisting 39-tackles, he sacked the QB 6-times, with 14-tackles for a loss, forcing 2-fumbles, recovering 2 as well. Jalen Reeves-Maybin also broke up 4-passes. 

Darrin Kirkland Jr made a huge impact in his freshman year (2015) he racked up 43-tackles, 22-assisted tackles, 6 for a loss, and he sacked the QB 3-times. Kirkland also caught a interception, an recovered a fumble. Kirkland will take on the full-time starting middle linebacker roll in 2016, and make an even bigger difference. 

LB position grade: C

For more Vols news and notes follow: @Rylan_Stiles on twitter. 

© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial
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With the College Football season less than a month away, the annual amyway pre-season coaches poll came out earlier this afternoon. The Poll:

1. Alabama 

2. Clemson

3. Oklahoma

4. Florida State

5. Ohio State

6. LSU

7. Stanford

8. Michigan 

9. Notre Dame

10. Tennessee

11. Michigan State  

12. Ole Miss

13. Houston 

14. TCU

15. Iowa

16. Georgia 

17. USC

18. Washington 

19. Oklahoma State

20. North Carolina 

21. Baylor 

22. Oregon 

23. Louisville

24. UCLA

25. Florida 

The Tennessee Volunteers started the season with a pre-season ranking of 10th in 1997-98, and they went on to win the National Title. Also, the king of pre-season hype narrative surrounding Tennessee is just false. Since 2006, their highest pre-season ranking was 25 (In 2007 and  2008), and were not ranked in 2009-2014.  The 2016 season, looks bright on rocky top.

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