Three Tennessee football players will be switching to different sides of the ball for an opportunity to prove their skills in the spring, Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt said on Friday. The moves further prove Pruitt is working hard to get Tennessee moving in his direction, and that means tinkering with the roster during spring practice.
The first of the three players is wide receiver Tyler Byrd, who will work somewhere in the secondary according to Pruitt. Byrd was one of the most athletic players to come out of high school in the 2016 recruiting class. However, seeing the field has been difficult — in two seasons, Byrd only has 18 receptions and only played 109 snaps on offense last season. He battled through some injuries last year, but really just didn’t end up on the field. Maybe the move will benefit his athletic ability and help the Vols in the secondary.
Running back Carlin Fils-aime is the second of the three players that will be testing out a new position. Jeremy Pruitt has plans for the 5-foot-11, 185 pounder in the secondary as well. He’s proven to be a tough player, which is what Pruitt is used to in his secondaries at Alabama.
Fils-aime was the third-string running back last season behind John Kelly and Ty Chandler. He did have 31 carries for 215 yards (an 6.9 yards per carry average) with two scores.
Ja”Quain Blakely, the redshirt sophomore defensive end, will be getting looks at tight end. He redshirted his first year on campus and played in special teams coverage last season.
Obviously, these changes aren’t set in stone, but it will be interesting to see how these players can adapt to the new positions.
If nothing else, it shows that Pruitt and the staff are dabbling in as many looks as they can to find the best 11 players on the field at any given time.