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Vols' spring challenge: Rebuild offensive line

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm •  Published: March 18, 2014
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee welcomes the challenge of replacing all five starters from an offensive line that featured four likely draft picks.

Junior guard Kyler Kerbyson said the linemen are "definitely playing with a chip on our shoulder" because of the skepticism surrounding how well they can take over for last year's starters. Tennessee allowed 23 sacks over the last two years, the lowest total of any Southeastern Conference team.

Antonio "Tiny" Richardson, Ja'Wuan James, James Stone, Zach Fulton and Alex Bullard combined to start 177 games. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rates all but Bullard as probable draft picks.

Tennessee's first-team line in spring practice has included Kerbyson and junior Marcus Jackson at guard, junior Mack Crowder at center and junior-college transfer Dontavius Blair and freshman Coleman Thomas at tackle.