Vols seeking middle linebacker to help lead talented defense - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Vols seeking middle linebacker to help lead talented defense

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AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The biggest question facing Tennessee's defense is whether it can solve its riddle in the middle.

The Volunteers must find a middle linebacker to replace A.J. Johnson, who ranked as the second-leading tackler in school history before his college career ended abruptly last November amid a rape investigation. He is scheduled to go on trial next month.

This search for someone to complement Jalen Reeves-Maybin at linebacker represents one of the Volunteers' top training camp concerns. Tennessee's defense looks solid just about everywhere else.

Contenders include redshirt freshmen Dillon Bates and Gavin Bryant, junior Kenny Bynum, sophomores Jakob Johnson and Colton Jumper and freshman Darrin Kirkland Jr. A potential position switch could remove one player from the mix, as Jakob Johnson has practiced at tight end the last two days.

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