Vols get boost from players in Vandy's backyard
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee is trying to recapture its status as the state's dominant football program by relying on players who grew up near Vanderbilt's campus.
The Volunteers (5-6, 2-5 SEC) have five part-time or full-time starters who went to high school within about an hour's drive of Vanderbilt Stadium, a figure that increases to six if you add freshman kicker Aaron Medley. That group includes two of the Southeastern Conference's most promising freshmen in defensive end Derek Barnett and running back Jalen Hurd.
All the Nashville-area Volunteers with at least six starts are freshmen or sophomores. They're returning home Saturday and attempting to snap Vanderbilt's two-game winning streak in this series.
For comparison's sake, Vanderbilt's only two starters from the middle Tennessee area are center Joe Townsend and defensive tackle Caleb Azubike.
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