One of the biggest downfalls of the Tennessee Vols in recent years has been the play of their offensive line.

In 2017 and 2018, the Vols were dreadful up front. They couldn’t get any push in the running game and they couldn’t consistently protect the quarterback (which made taking a shot downfield nearly impossible).

There’s no way for a program to be successful in the SEC without an effective offensive line.

That’s why a statement that Pruitt made on Thursday should not only be encouraging for fans, it should get them excited.

Pruitt told reporters that he’s excited about Tennessee’s offensive line in 2019.

That’s a pretty big statement by Pruitt, considering how bad the offensive line played at times last season.

And by now, we know Pruitt isn’t a coach who blows smoke or gives meritless compliments. In fact, it’s rare that Pruitt gives out a compliment at all.

If Pruitt believes in the Vols’ 2019 offensive line, then fans should believe too. Because it probably means we’re going to see a completely different look from Tennessee up front.

There’s a good chance that UT will be starting two true freshmen on their offensive line in 2019. Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright, two highly touted members of the Vols’ 2019 recruiting class, are good bets to start at left and right tackle. Even if they don’t start at the beginning of the season, they’re going to see significant playing time in 2019.

Pruitt must think highly of the two freshmen, otherwise he wouldn’t be talking up the offensive line like he is.

Brandon Kennedy will likely start at center, with some combination of Jahmir Johnson, Jerome Carvin, K’Rojhn Calbert or Ryan Johnson starting at the guard positions. If Trey Smith is healthy, he’ll obviously lock down one of those starting guard spots.

Tennessee certainly has the talent to be good up front. If the Vols show the improvement that Pruitt is expecting, then UT has a legitimate chance to win seven or eight games in 2019.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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