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Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech: TV schedule, game time, 2018 NFL Draft prospects to watch

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One of the oldest rivalries in college football clash in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

NCAA Football: Ohio at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of college football officially wraps up Monday night in Atlanta where the #25 Tennessee Volunteers of the SEC take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets of the ACC. Both teams enter this season with question marks at the most important position on the field. Whoever steps in under center for their squad will have big shoes to fill. Former Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas will be missed after successfully running head coach Paul Johnson’s triple option attack and leading the team to two Bowl victories, including an Orange Bowl win against Mississippi State. He is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Steeler’s practice squad. As for the Volunteers they will look to replace Josh Dobbs who is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The rivalry has met 43 times with the Volunteers owning the edge with a 24-17-2 record, including wins in their last five meetings. After a 9-4 season Georgia Tech will look to keep the momentum going this season, however that will all depend on who will be running that triple option under center. The current options for Paul Johnson include Matthew Jordan who is the presumed favorite, along with signal callers TaQuon Marshall and freshmen Lucas Johnson and Jay Jones. At tailback KirVonte Benson will get the start after star back Dedrick Mills was dismissed for breaking team rules. True freshmen Jerry Howard will back up Benson in the number 2 role.

As for the Volunteers, they will have decisions to make as well at quarterback. Options for head coach Butch Jones include Quinten Dormady or redshirt freshmen Jarrett Guarantano. With a new quarterback taking over, the offense will look to running back John Kelly and highly regarded junior wide receiver Jauan Jennings for leadership. As for the defense, the presumed captain of that unit will be safety Todd Kelly Jr. who led the team last season with 71 tackles and 8 interceptions. Expectations will be high this year after the Vols started 5-0 last season, and come into this season in the top 25. However with the loss of Dobbs and defensive end Derek Barnett to the NFL expectations should be slightly tempered, especially in the SEC.

Who: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (ACC) vs #25 Tennessee Volunteers (SEC)
Where: Atlanta, Georgia Mercedes Benz Stadium (Neutral Site)
Kickoff: 8:00pm
Where To Watch: ESPN

Below you will find draft eligible prospects from both squads..

*Indicates Junior Status

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Offense:

Ricky Jeune: WR - 5’11” - 174 lbs.
*Matthew Jordan: QB - 6’2” - 210 lbs.
*Chase Martenson: QB - 6’2” - 215 lbs.
*TaQuon Marshall: QB - 5’10” - 185lbs.
*Qua Searcy: RB - 5”11 - 174 lbs.
*Clinton Lynch: RB - 6’0” - 217 lbs.
Melvin Davis: RB - 6’0” - 207 lbs.
Andrew Marshal: OL - 6’4” - 282 lbs.
Cheyenne Hunt: OL - 6’0” - 250 lbs.
Will Bryan: OL - 6’4” - 281 lbs.
Shamire Devine: OL - 6’7” - 380 lbs.
Antonio Messick: WR - 6’3” - 200 lbs.
Brad Stewart: WR - 6’1” - 197 lbs.
Bennett Barton: PK - 6’1” - 197 lbs.

Defense:

A.J Gray: DB - 6’1” - 218 lbs.
Lamont Simmons: DB - 6’2” - 202 lbs.
Step Durham: DB - 5’11” - 194 lbs.
Victor Alexander: LB - 5’10” - 235 lbs.
Corey Griffin: DB - 6’2” - 199 lbs.
Lance Austin: DB - 5”10 - 188 lbs.
Zach Matthews: DB - 6’2” - 198 lbs.
Lawrence Austin: DB - 5’9” - 187 lbs.
Josh Selembo: DB - 6’3” - 185 lbs.
Tre’ Jackson: LB - 5’10” - 222 lbs.
KeShuan Freeman: DL - 6’2” - 250 lbs.
Shaun Kagawa: DB - 5’11” - 198 lbs.
Brant Mitchell: LB - 6’2” - 236 lbs.
Terrell Lewis: LB - 6’2 - 227 lbs.
Kyle Cerge-Henderson: DL - 6’1” - 298 lbs.
Antonio Simmons: DL - 6’3” - 246 lbs.
Anree Saint-Amour: DL - 6’3” - 247 lbs.
Tyler Merriweather: DL - 6’3” - 238 lbs.
Desmond Branch: DL - 6’3” - 270 lbs

NCAA Football: Virginia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech Player Spotlight

Lance Austin # 17 - CB - Senior & Lawrence Austin # 20 - CB - Senior

Yes, you are reading this correctly…Twins! The Austin twins return to Tech for their senior season’s as they both look to build their draft resume. They are the assumed captains of this Tech defense. Lance plays more on the outside and boundary and easily had his most notable moment of his collegiate career when he blocked a FG and took it to the house to defeat Florida State last season as time expired. Last season Lance had 3 interceptions, along with 38 solo tackles.

NCAA Football: Duke at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence plays the majority of the snaps in nickel, and had 3 interceptions and 31 solo tackles. He is responsible for 7 turnovers in his three years at Tech. Both have playmaking ability, and can make an impact. While I like both players, and they can both make a name for themselves this season, it’s Lance that seems to have that big play ability. In addition to the blocked FG against FSU, he also helped Tech win a game in the final minutes with a pick-6 against Virginia. Overall though, keep a close eye on the Twins as the lead the Jacket’s defense this season in Atlanta.

Tennessee Volunteers

Offense:

*John Kelly: RB - 5’9” - 205 lbs.
*Quinten Dormady: QB - 6’4” - 222 lbs.
*Jauan Jennings: WR - 6’3” - 209 lbs.
Jeff George: WR - 6’6” - 198 lbs.
Aaron Medley: PK - 6’2” - 203 lbs.
Josh Smith: WR - 6’1” - 206 lbs.
*Parker Henry: Holder - 6’1” - 187 lbs.
Jakob Johnson: TE - 6’3” - 250 lbs.
Coleman Thomas: OL - 6’5” - 309 lbs.
Brett Kendrick: OL - 6’6” - 318 lbs.
*Jack Jones: OL - 6’4” - 312 lbs.
Jashon Robertson: OL - 6’3” - 300 lbs.
*Chance Hall: OL - 6’4” - 315 lbs.
Ethan Wolf: TE - 6’4” - 224 lbs.

Defense:

*Jonathan Kongbo: DL - 6’6” - 264 lbs.
*Shy Tuttle: DL - 6’2” - 308 lbs.
*Kyle Phillips: DL - 6’4” - 263 lbs.
Shaq Wiggins: DB - 5’10” - 169 lbs.
*Rashaan Gaulden: DB - 6’1” - 193 lbs.
Justin Martin: DB - 6’1” - 196 lbs.
Emmanuel Mosley: DB - 5”11” 184 lbs.
*Dillion Bates: LB - 6’3” - 224 lbs.
Cortez McDowell: LB - 6’0” - 228 lbs.
*Micah Abernathy: DB - 6’0” - 203 lbs.
Todd Kelly Jr.: DB - 5’11” - 200 lbs.
Evan Berry: DB - 5’11” - 205 lbs.
*D.J. Henderson - DB - 6’1” - 183 lbs.
*Darrin Kirkland Jr.: LB - 6’1” - 238 lbs.
Elliot Berry: LB - 5’11” - 206 lbs.
Colton Jumper: LB - 6’2” - 229 lbs.
*Quay Picou: DL - 6’1” - 280 lbs.
*Paul Bain: DL - 6’5” - 290 lbs.
*Alexis Johnson: DL - 6’4” - 300 lbs.
*Reginald McKenzie Jr.: DL - 6’3” - 320 lbs.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Volunteers Player Spotlight

Jauan Jennings #15, WR

Jennings was once considered a highly touted quarterback prospect coming out of high school. However, since making the switch over to wide receiver he has been nothing short of remarkable for the Vols. He will enter this season has the number one option for whoever is under center. He provides big-target potential with his 6’3” body and lengthy wingspan. Last season he produced 580 total yards to go along with 40 receptions and 7 touchdowns. Those are not certainly eye-popping numbers, however part of this can be contributed to quarterback play from last season. Jennings is competitive and fierce on the field. He is hard to battle with on 50/50 balls, and his abilities as a route runner should only improve this season. As the number one option, with acceptable quarterback play, I expect the junior’s draft stock to rise by season’s end. He is currently a mid-round prospect with the arrow pointing up. Keep a close on Jennings when the Vols offense is on the field.

Player measurables courtesy of Georgia Tech and Tennessee Volunteers team pages.

What are your thoughts on the Georgia Tech and Tennessee draft eligible protects? Who are you excited to see play? Please share in the comments below!