Tennessee Football In the Back Half of Returning Production Among FBS Teams

Jeremy Banks

Jeremy BanksFormer Tennessee LB Jeremy Banks. Photo by Tennessee Football.

While Josh Heupel and the Tennessee football team won’t necessarily be replacing a ton of starters on the field next year, the Volunteers will be looking to replace a large amount of production.

Tennessee will be looking to replace five of the 11 offensive starters and three of the 11 defensive starters.

Ultimately, though, those eight players did make up a big chunk of Tennessee’s production. According to Bill Connelly of ESPN, the Volunteers are returning 63 percent of their production from last year, which is good for No. 69 among the 133 FBS teams listed.

The offensive side of the ball is hit harder than the defensive side, as expected. According to ESPN’s listing, Tennessee is returning just 57 percent of the offensive production, which is good for the 96th most among the 133 teams.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker accounted for 74 percent of Tennessee’s passing yards and 17 percent of Tennessee’s rushing yards. Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman, meanwhile, accounted for nearly 40 percent of Tennessee’s receiving yards despite Tillman missing a significant stretch of games throughout the year.

Jerome Carvin and Darnell Wright, two experienced pieces on the offensive line, have departed as well. Carvin was a very versatile player for Elarbee’s unit while Wright was an anchor on the right side, not allowing a single sack in 2022 on more than 500 pass block attempts.

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The defensive side, on the other hand, does fair a little better with less talent leaving the team this offseason. Connelly’s list has Tennessee’s defense returning 69 percent of their production, which is good for No. 44 among all teams.

Tennessee’s three main departing players on the defensive side of the ball – safety Trevon Flowers, linebacker Jeremy Banks, and edge rusher Byron Young – all ranked within the Top 10 tacklers of the team last year.

Flowers finished the season with 57, Banks with 53, and Young with 37. Combined, that makes up for roughly 16 percent of Tennessee’s tackles on the season. Flowers was also one of three Tennessee players with two interceptions on the season.

While it isn’t listed on ESPN’s list, one more interesting note is that Tennessee is also losing special teams production with kicker Chase McGrath and punter Paxton Brooks going into the 2023 season. McGrath went for all 20 of Tennessee’s field goal attempts last season while Brooks kicked away 38 of Tennessee’s 39 punts. Brooks also took care of 94 of Tennessee’s 103 kickoffs last year.


QB Hendon Hooker
WR Jalin Hyatt
WR Cedric Tillman
OL Jerome Carvin
OL Darnell Wright
DE Byron Young
LB Jeremy Banks
S Trevon Flowers

Author: Ethan Moore