Tennessee Volunteers Must Solve Offensive Line Issues

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The Tennessee Volunteers have several holes to fill on offense. The most notable battle is for the starting quarterback position, where four players (Josh Dobbs, Riley Ferguson, Nathan Peterman and Justin Worley) are in the mix to be behind center at the beginning of the 2014 season.

And while the quarterback battle will get the majority of the attention, Tennessee also has holes to fill on the offensive line. Actually, they must replace all five starters from last year’s team, which had a very strong offensive line. As many as four of last year’s starters could be drafted in this year’s NFL Draft.

However, head coach Butch Jones must turn his attention to replacing that outstanding group. So far during the spring, it appears that junior center Mack Crowder is becoming the leader of this group. Crowder, along with fellow junior Marcus Jackson, who plays guard, are the only returnees with any starting experience.

Junior guard Kyler Kerbyson is also making an impact during spring drills. The Vols are most concerned about the tackle position, where Dontavius Blair, a junior college transfer, and freshman Coleman Thomas appear to be in position to become starters this fall.

Jones knows that the offensive line is the key to increasing Tennessee’s scoring this season, so he will devote quite a bit of time to these positions, ensuring that the Vols are strong up front in 2014. If Tennessee has a line as good as last season’s, there could be big things on the horizon for the winner of the quarterback battle, and the rest of the Vols’ offense.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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