March 28, 2012

Wilks gets his shot, more notes

With a roster full of rising sophomores and juniors who have gotten a crash-course in SEC football in their young careers, there's a sense around the current Tennessee football team that all those hard lessons are on the verge of paying off. One area that looks to be in line to reap the benefits of throwing so many youngsters into the fire last year is the Vols' secondary.

Even with the move of last year's starting strong safety Brent Brewer to linebacker, the secondary still boasts seven players who have starting experience and eight who earned substantial playing time a year ago.

Last year's secondary was a unit in a seeming constant state of flux. It started when playmaking safety Janzen Jackson was dismissed after fall camp was already underway, and pretty much continued non-stop through all of 2011.

Due partially to injuries, but mostly to inconsistent play, Tennessee used seven different starting line-ups in the defensive backfield a year ago. That may not have done much for continuity, but it does mean that the Vols now have a wealth of young defensive backs with meaningful snaps under their belt.

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