July 28, 2009
Scouting The Freshmen: The Offense
One of the most intriguing--and guaranteed to happen--conversations around this time every year typically centers around which freshmen have a shot at early playing time. That conversation is even more enticing than usual in Knoxville this year because of a freshman class heavy on potential, and a brand new coaching staff on the sideline that has promised to press young talent into action as early as possible.
There's no exact formula, but it's commonly accepted that roughly half of any given freshmen class will play and half will redshirt. Some years that number will be a little higher, some years it will be lower.
Tennessee's percentage--at least from this vantage point--will probably be a little more than half this fall. What's more interesting to contemplate than just how many freshmen will play is what sort of impact a couple of them might have. Freshmen are rarely, if ever, depended on to produce early on at the college level, but for Tennessee this year, exceeding expectations may hinge on whether or not a handful of talented newcomers can make a quick adjustment and then a quick impact.
With that in mind, and fall camp now one week away from officially opening, let's get speculative.
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