Heading into the season, it was a known fact that the Tennessee Volunteers lacked experience at the defensive tackle position on the two-deep. However, the situation took a turn for the worst as Butch Jones announced on Wednesday, starting defensive tackle, Danny O'Brien, had been suspended for a violation of team rules. Refusing to answer any direct questions on the duration of the suspension, Coach Jones mentioned the situation could be "ever-changing."
The redshirt junior started twelve games last season recording 23 tackles along with 4.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Continuing to find success of the field, O'Brien picked up right where he left off against Bowling Green adding another sack to the resume.
As far as options to replace the starter, Owen Williams fits the bill. Williams possesses the size required to play along the interior of the defensive line and has the most experience. In 12 games of playing time durin g the 2014 season, Williams recorded 16 tackles including two sacks.
Behind Williams sits true freshman Shy Tuttle as the experience issue once again rears its head for the Volunteers. Make no mistake, Tuttle is a very talented player listed by Lindy's as the No. 5 impact true freshman nationally who enrolled in the spring getting a head start over the final option. A great and final option is Kahlil McKenzie, listed as the No. 4 impact true freshman by Lindy's.
The talent pool grew at the DT position but how will the true freshmen perform as a part of the rotation?
Could this be the break the Oklahoma Sooners rushing attack needed? Possibly.