Every Player Tennessee Will Face That Made ESPN’s Top 100 CFB Players List

Every Player Tennessee Will Face That Made ESPN's Top 100 CFB Players List

Brock Bowers – Georgia Tight End // Photo via Georgia Athletics

ESPN’s Top 100 college football players list was released on Tuesday. Only one Vol made the list, as Joe Milton III came in at No. 76.

Milton was ranked as the fourth-best quarterback in the SEC, behind only LSU’s Jayden Daniels (15), Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson (30) and Mississippi State’s Will Rogers (36).

But in terms of opposing quarterbacks Tennessee will face this season, the Vols will always have the quarterback advantage with Milton, as Tennessee doesn’t face LSU, Arkansas or Mississippi State.

While Tennessee won’t have to face any ‘elite’ quarterbacks, there are several other players on the list the Vols will go up against this fall.

Let’s take a look at the list’s thirteen players that are on rosters Tennessee will go up against.

No. 2 – Georgia TE Brock Bowers

Bowers ranks behind only USC QB Caleb Williams, who won the Heisman last year, on the list. Bowers is the best do-it-all offensive weapon in the sport. He has typical tight end size at 6-foot-4, 230-pound size, but he runs around and makes plays like a wide receiver.

Oh, and also, he has elite breakaway speed and is capable of taking an end around to the house at any moment’s notice.

Tennessee takes on Georgia in their penultimate game of the season on November 18 in Knoxville.

No. 10 – Georgia EDGE Mykel Williams

Georgia’s Mykel Williams is primed for a breakout sophomore season this fall. As a true freshman last year, Williams only started in two games but still managed to have solid stats on the season.

Williams finished with 28 tackles and four-and-a-half sacks. He’s a name every Georgia opponent will have circled, and he’s already got some preseason recognition as he was named to the 2023 Preseason Media Days All-SEC First Team roster.

No. 12 – Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

Hands down the best defensive back in the SEC is Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry. McKinstry has already had a great two-year career in Tuscaloosa, earning All-SEC Freshman Team honors two years ago and All-SEC First Team accolades last year.

A Top-10 selection in nearly all 2024 NFL Mock Drafts, quarterbacks will likely avoid McKinstry at all costs this fall.

Tennessee faces Alabama on the third Saturday in October on October 21 in Tuscaloosa.

No. 24 – Georgia LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson

The newest star Georgia linebacker is upcoming junior Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Dumas-Johnson earned All-SEC Second Team honors a year ago and was named to the Preseason Media Days All-SEC First Team roster this offseason.

Dumas-Johnson figures to the be the best inside linebacker in the SEC this season.

No. 28 – Alabama OLB Dallas Turner

He isn’t Will Anderson Jr., but Dallas Turner will have his chance to shine this year at Alabama.

Turner could easily become the consensus best pass rusher in the country if he takes the type of leap he’s capable of. Living in Anderson’s shadow, Turner has accumulated 18 TFLs and 12.5 sacks. We’ll see what he can do as the man on Alabama’s defense this fall.

No. 40 – Georgia S Malaki Starks

Starks marks the fourth Bulldog in the top 40 and third on defense. The rising sophomore safety burst onto the scene in 2022 as a freshman with two interceptions in his first three games.

Considering the little amount quarterbacks throw to McKinstry, Starks is a strong candidate to lead the conference in picks this season.

No. 41 – Georgia LB Smael Mondon Jr. 

Mondon Jr. is the Robin to Dumas-Johnson’s batman. The second piece of the best inside linebacker duo in the country, Mondon Jr. led Georgia with 76 stops and 23 quarterback hurries a season ago.

No. 42 – Georgia C Sedrick Van Pran

The list’s third consecutive Bulldog is center Sedrick Van Pran. Along with No. 54 on the list, Van Pran is one of the best offensive lineman in the league.

Somewhat surprisingly, Van Pran decided to return for his senior season at Georgia rather than entering the NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has only allowed one sack in the past two seasons.

No. 54 – Alabama OT J.C. Latham

Potentially the next great tackle to come out of Tuscaloosa is J.C. Latham. Latham did not allow a sack last season in pass protection, and with a strong season he could be a Top-10 pick in next year’s draft.

No. 67 – Texas A&M WR Ainias Smith

The second-highest skill position player and highest wide receiver Tennessee’s secondary will match up against this season is Texas A&M’s Ainias Smith. Smith is also the highest-ranked player Tennessee will face that doesn’t play for Alabama or Georgia.

Smith returning for his senior season was a huge win for the Aggies. He will line up alongside Evan Stewart, who some would argue is A&M’s best wideout, to head what is likely the SEC’s best wide receiver corps.

Tennessee plays the Aggies in Neyland Stadium on October 14.

No. 71 – Alabama OG Tyler Booker

The versatile guard is one of the best interior lineman in the SEC. Under new OC Tommy Rees, Alabama will look to lean on the running game more. If the Tide’s running game takes it up a notch this season, the 6-foot-5, 335-pound Booker will be a huge reason why.

No. 91 – South Carolina WR Antwane Wells Jr.

Wells torched Tennessee last season to the tune of 11 catches for 177 yards. The Gamecocks’ best offensive weapon could be the SEC’s best wide receiver if Spencer Rattler is more consistent this fall.

Tennessee will look to exact revenge for last year’s ugly loss on September 30 in Knoxville.

No. 93 – South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler

Speaking of Spencer Rattler, he is the 13th and final player on ESPN’s Top 100 CFB player list Tennessee will face this season. We saw what Rattler’s ceiling is last November when the former Sooner tossed for six scores against UT. But, there’s a reason Rattler isn’t ranked ahead of Milton, who has never started a full season in his five-year career.

Author: Ethan Moore