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3 Bold Vols Predictions Following Orange and White Game

There have been a lot of mixed reviews about the 2018 Volunteers football team following their spring game on Saturday.

Some aspects showed promise, while others looked to need a lot of work. But that should be expected after the program’s first 4-8 season and a coaching search that was anything but normal.

First-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt inherited a real project in trying to bring this program back to the days when current athletic director Phillip Fulmer was in charge, and Pruitt had some strong words following his first spring game at the helm of the Vols, giving them a “D” grade during his post-game presser.

Despite the harsh grade Pruitt gave his team and the nature of spring games, there are a lot of things we can take away from this spring game — some good, some bad. Here are some bold predictions from the spring game heading into the summer and eventually the season.

 

Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan will be the best RB duo in the SEC
If there is one position that most fans didn’t think they would have to worry about going into this 2018 season, it’s running back.

After last season’s standout back John Kelly decided to enter the NFL Draft, everybody already knew that Ty Chandler would be just fine filling his shoes. Chandler had many opportunities as the second back and even started in the Kentucky game when Kelly was suspended.

Chandler rushed for 305 yards and two touchdowns last season as the backup and showed a lot of potential to be a solid starter this coming season.

Tim Jordan shared carries with Chandler during the spring game and really stood out. He ran for 57 yards on nine carries and got in the endzone once. He showed Kelly-like elusiveness and was strong on goal-line and short yardage carries.

Don’t be surprised to see these two as the top dogs in the conference if they carry this type of work load during the regular season.

 

A Tennessee receiver will finish top-5 in the league in receiving yards

 I just don’t know which one.
A few receivers really showed out during Saturday’s game, mainly Marquez Callaway who had a couple incredible catches, one of which for the game’s first touchdown.

One receiver that really stood out was Josh Palmer.

Palmer and Jarrett Guarantano linked up for some nice plays downfield — one for 20 yards and another for 34 yards — which is something Tennessee fans were happy to see.

Brandon Johnson — Tennessee’s No. 1 receiver from last season is returning — and Jauan Jennings will also be back this year after being removed from the team late last season.

So don’t be surprised to see one of these Vol receiver at the top of the yardage rankings by the end of the year as long as the quarterback — whoever it is — can make good throws.

 

Brent Cimaglia will be a top three kicker in the SEC
If there was one aspect from the Butch Jones era that consistently held true, it was the special teams. Last year wasn’t the best year for Tennessee place kickers as Aaron Medley and Brent Cimaglia shared the duties, but a lot would say that their struggles were due to the inconsistent situations both kickers were put in by the previous coaching staff.

Now that Medley is gone, Cimaglia will have the kicking duties all to himself, and he looked solid for the Orange team in Saturday’s spring game.

Cimaglia knocked down two field goals, both from over 40 yards and both from the hash marks.

With a lot of uncertainties around the new offense this season, Cimaglia could be a bit busy this year. If he converts kicks like he should, he could be among the top in the league.

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