Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt has been coy when it comes to discussing the players on his team and who he thinks will excel in 2018.
But the first time head coach might have tipped his hand a bit this week.
Tennessee announced on Wednesday that tight end Eli Wolf, defensive end Kyle Phillips and wide receiver Marquez Callaway will represent the Vols at SEC Media Days this year.
The inclusion of Callaway is the only one that kind of surprised me. Wolf and Phillips weren’t names I “expected”, but they weren’t shocking. Wolf has been around the program for quite some time (dating back to his brother Ethan’s days) and Phillips is a senior.
Callaway, however, is a potential rising star that’s relatively unknown outside of Tennessee fans.
I think the fact that Pruitt is including Callaway signals that he believes the junior wide receiver could be in for a special season.
We saw last year in the Volunteers’ season-opener against Georgia Tech the star quality that Callaway possesses. In Tennessee’s win against the Yellow Jackets, Callaway caught 4 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Callaway, however, was severely underused after that stellar performance — he didn’t top 100 receiving yards in a game the rest of the season.
Under-utilizing players was something former head coach Butch Jones specialized in during his time at UT.
I can’t see Pruitt and offensive coordinator Tyson Helton making those same mistakes.
It seems pretty clear that Pruitt thinks a lot of Callaway, otherwise he wouldn’t be making the trip to Atlanta next week to represent the Vols.
Don’t be surprised when Callaway has a breakout season in 2018 — he’s finally going to be used in a way that maximizes his skills.
Featured image via Times Free Press