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Breaking down Tennessee’s scholarship situation

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Tennessee players are set to begin classes Wednesday, as Jeremy Pruitt’s team will start its first full offseason under strength and conditioning coordinator Craig Fitzgerald.

The Vols inked 19 players during the Early Signing Period and have two more commits still in play (DB Anthony Harris, DL LeDarrius Cox). They also hope to add 5-star tackle Darnell Wright, linebackers Henry To’oto’o and Chris Russell and possibly one other prospect in February.

So how will the numbers work themselves out?

Tennessee went through its 2018 season with a roster of 85 scholarship players. Pruitt put walk-on lineman Paul Bain on scholarship to get to the full limit, but a pair of offensive lineman were hurt the entire season (Tanner Antonutti and DeVante Brooks) and have since medically retired. Tennessee now has two extra scholarships to play with in 2019, but numbers remain very tight due to minimal attrition elsewhere thus far.

Quart’e Sapp (NFL), Will McBride (transfer) and Marquill Osborne are the only players to leave the program this offseason. The Vols graduated just 11 seniors.

As it stands, Tennessee will have 79 scholarship players when classes begin tomorrow. That includes 10 early enrollees (Brian Maurer, Wanya Morris, Chris Akporoghene, Ramel Keyton, Warren Burrell, Jaylen McCollough, Quavaris Crouch, Eric Gray, Tyus Fields and Jackson Lowe) and former 5-star and Michigan d-tackle transfer Aubrey Solomon. It also includes Trey Smith, whose status for 2019 remains unknown right now. That number does not include a player like fourth-year tight end Andrew Craig, who signed with Tennessee as a preferred walk-on in 2016.

The Vols still have nine signees set to arrive this summer and want to add 4-5 more prospects in February. To get to the 85 limit, attrition (at least ~ 6-7 players leaving) must happen. It could occur tomorrow before classes start, within the next week before the NFL early entry deadline or after spring practice.

There are some obvious candidates, with someone like Latrell Williams exploring his options in the NCAA Transfer Portal. Others make sense, too, but we'll withhold any speculation.

Here is what Tennessee's scholarship roster looks liked heading into winter conditioning...

QUARTERBACK
Jarret Guarantano, R-JR

JT Shrout, R-FR

Brian Maurer, FR

TAILBACK
Ty Chandler, JR

Tim Jordan, JR

Jeremy Banks, SO

Carlin Fils-Aime, SR

Pricenton Fant, R-SO

Eric Gray, FR

RECEIVER
Marquez Callaway, SR

Brandon Johnson, SR

Tyler Byrd, SR

Jauan Jennings, R-SR

Josh Palmer, JR

Jordan Murphy, JR

Latrell Williams, R-JR

Jacquez Jones, R-SO

Maleik Gray, JR

Cedric Tillman, R-FR

Ramel Keyton, FR

TIGHT END
Dominick Wood-Anderson, R-SR

Eli Wolf, R-SR

Austin Pope, R-JR

James Brown, R-SO

Latrell Bumphus, JR

Jacob Warren, R-FR

Jackson Lowe, FR

OFFENSIVE LINE
Drew Richmond, R-SR

Brandon Kennedy, R-SR

Riley Locklear, JR

Nathan Niehaus, R-JR

Jahmir Johnson, R-JR

Marcus Tatum, R-JR

Eric Crosby, R-SO

Trey Smith, JR

Ryan Johnson, R-JR

K'Rojhn Calbert, R-SO

Jerome Carvin, SO

Chance Hall, R-SR

Ollie Lane, R-FR

Wanya Morris, FR

Chris Akporoghene, FR

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LINEBACKER
Daniel Bituli, SR

Will Ignont, JR

Shanon Reid, JR

JJ Peterson, R-FR

Darrin Kirkland Jr., R-SR

Darrell Taylor, R-SR

Deandre Johnson, JR

Austin Smith, R-SR

Jordan Allen, R-JR

Quavaris Crouch, FR

DEFENSIVE LINE
John Mincey, SO

Kurott Garland, R-FR

Greg Emerson, R-FR

Emmit Gooden, SR

Matthew Butler, JR

Kivon Bennett, JR

Ja'Quain Blakely, R-JR

Kingston Harris, R-FR

Aubrey Solomon, JR

SECONDARY
Alontae Taylor, SO

Bryce Thompson, SO

Nigel Warrior, SR

Shawn Shamburger, JR

Trevon Flowers, SO

Baylen Buchanan, SR

Kenneth George Jr., R-JR

Solon Page, R-SO

Terrell Bailey, R-SO

Cheyenne Labruzza, R-SO

Theo Jackson, JR

Brandon Davis, R-FR

Warren Burrell, FR

Jaylen McCollough, FR

Tyus Fields, FR

SPECIALISTS
Brent Cimaglia, JR

Paxton Brooks, SO

Riley Lovingood, R-SR

SIGNEES ARRIVING THIS SUMMER