Tennessee is precariously thin at the offensive tackle position this spring. Amari McNeill and Jeremiah Crawford are not yet on campus, leaving the position leaving wide open for playing time, and a former walk-on is impressing the new Tennessee staff. During Friday's press conference, Josh Heupel discussed the uptick in production from former walk-on Dayne Davis.
"He's been rock solid since we've gotten here in the way that he competes, his attention to detail, and how he competes out on the practice field," Heupel said of the 6'7", 315 pounds lineman. "Those guys get graded every day, and the rotation upfront in practice one was based off of how they graded out in everything that they were doing every day leading up to spring ball."
"Now, you get graded every day in practice," Heupel continued." Based on that, that kind of sets the rotation as far as whether you're playing with the ones, the twos, or threes for the day. These guys compete really hard. Upfront we have some flexibility with some of the guys that can play left, play right—they've had some experience doing that. The biggest thing to me is just our players learning how to play from snap to the echo of the whistle. There's a lot of different teams you can use, but at the end of the day, it's about your effort. We use the word 'attack' here inside of our program and our kids are learning to do that. He's been a guy that's really consistent in the way he plays from snap to whistle."
Tennessee will continue to work multiple offensive line rotations throughout the spring, as Heupel reiterated that today is simply Day 5 of spring, with the season still months away. As he continues to learn his team and get more bodies on campus, this will be a position to monitor as Davis will look to lockdown a role as a contributor.