This week on Rocky Topics, Nathan Odom and Cody McClure discuss two football players that have a lot to prove for Tennessee in 2015.
Odom: I’ll take Marquez North on this one. After two injury-ridden seasons, North has shown Vol fans some brilliant flashes (See: Tennessee vs. South Carolina, 2013) but has spent a lot of time on the sidelines. North has tons of NFL upside but has yet to show much of it simply because he has missed so much playing time. He doesn’t necessarily need a record-breaking season but a consistent one. Twelve games with consistent play would help his draft stock as much as it would help Tennessee’s passing offense.
McClure: Speaking of that passing offense, the guy who throws the ball has some pretty high expectations. It’s April, and Josh Dobbs is already being featured as a dark horse on preseason Heisman watch lists. Dobbs has received high praise for his performances against Kentucky and South Carolina in 2014. While the praise is nice, it comes with expectations that no Tennessee quarterback has lived up to since Tee Martin guided his team to a national championship in 1998. With Tennessee being the ‘fun’ pick to win the SEC East this year, Dobbs has a ton to prove.
Odom: After his freshman All-American campaign, Marquez North was hyped more than any receiver has been in recent memory. North’s resurgence this season would not only boost his draft stock but Tennessee’s offense as well. The Vols have a plethora of talent at the receiver position but no true No. 1 guy. Marquez North has the size, athleticism and catching ability to be that star wideout and go-to guy this season.
McClure: North has certainly had a lot of hype surrounding him. He was Butch Jones’ very first highly-touted signee. The assumption that he would be a first round draft pick has died down since his stellar freshman season, albeit to constant injuries. North has something to prove, but we’re not talking Heisman-type stuff here. The case is different for Dobbs. He is a dual threat quarterback. Take a look at Heisman winners since 2010. Cam Newton, RGIII, Johnny Football, Famous Jameis and Marcus Mariota. Dual threat quarterbacks have the most to prove, and they win the biggest awards because of it. And they’re marketable… see “Space Dobbs.”
Edited by Maggie Jones