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The last time Alabama and Tennessee played, Volunteers safety Trevon Flowers had a very busy night. 

He ended up with a team-high 10 tackles and forced a fumble, but Alabama still won in a route, 48-17. The Crimson Tide tallied 587 yards of total offense, including 417 passing, even though standout Jaylen Waddle suffered what was thought to be a season-ending ankle injury on the opening kickoff (he was able to play some in the national championship game).

With the coaching change and turnover on the team during the offseason, Tennessee doesn't have a lot of experience or depth, and the team has also been dealing with numerous key injuries. They include quarterback Hendon Hooker (leg) and running back Tiyon Evans, who are both expected to play against Alabama on Saturday, but linebacker Juwan Mitchell, a transfer from Texas, recently underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the rest for the season. The offensive line has been banged up as well. 

In that context, Tennessee's experience in secondary is absolutely crucial. 

The Volunteers returned both safeties with Flowers and junior Jaylen McCollough, along with senior Theo Jackson at the star/nickel spot. The trio has combined to play in 109 games with 58 starts, including 19 starts by Flowers, the former multi-sport standout who gave up baseball to focus on playing football. 

Trevon Flowers

Jersey: No. 1
Position: Free safety 
Height: 5-11
Weight: 204
DOB: 12/14/99
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
High School: Tucker

Pros

Fluid moving safety at the backend with low hips and light feet. Flowers possesses good hip fluidity and above-average closing speed, moving best in close quarters. This allows him to play man coverage in the red zone. He times his arrival to the receiver well when breaking on routes ahead of him. Long arms help him to contest the catch even when he is not in perfect position. Flowers is versatile, lining up in single-high, two high, in the box and over slot receivers. He tries to punch the ball if possible.

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Cons

Flowers lacks field vision, often locking onto one opponent for too long. He plays carefully to not get beat deep, causing him to get turned around easily and being deep without receivers threatening him. Flowers is a bad tackler, getting caught flat-footed and coming in high, letting teammates finish tackles. He lacks the strength to stop the momentum of ball carriers. Bigger opponents block him consistently. His speed is average, being better in close quarters.

Summary 

Versatile safety who is best moving in close quarters. Flowers struggles to tackle reliably. He lacks field vision to be a playmaker consistently and possesses average speed. Flowers projects as a practice squad safety with a shot to make a roster if he tackles to contribute on special teams. If his instincts improve, he has the movement skills to fit into a primarily two-high scheme. 

Grades

5.9 (current value)/6.9 (potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis 

Last year, Flowers topped the Tennessee secondary in tackles with 62. He'd be leading the entire defense this season had he not missed the Missouri game (undisclosed injury). He has 45 tackles, three behind the team leader, linebacker Jeremy Banks. Flowers had a career-best 15 tackles at No. 11 this season, the most in a game by a Vol since linebacker Daniel Bituli had 19 in a 17-13 win over Kentucky on Nov. 9, 2019. Last week he picked off Matt Corral in the fourth quarter, the first time the Ole Miss quarterback was picked off this season. The guess here is that Flowers is going to have another busy night against the Crimson Tide. 

All this week, BamaCentral will profile numerous Tennessee players as the Crimson Tide prepares to host the Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. Also check out NFL Draft Bible for more evaluations.

Alontae Taylor

The last time Alabama and Tennessee played, Volunteers safety Trevon Flowers had a very busy night. 

He ended up with a team-high 10 tackles and forced a fumble, but Alabama still won in a route, 48-17. The Crimson Tide tallied 587 yards of total offense, including 417 passing, even though standout Jaylen Waddle suffered what was thought to be a season-ending ankle injury on the opening kickoff (he was able to play some in the national championship game).

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