Returning Aaron Beasley eases LB Flights concerns
When spring practice began, the inside linebacker was becoming a concern of historic proportions for Tennessee football. The Vols have lost their two best transferable players, Henry To’o To’o and Quavaris Crouch, who joined the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan State Spartans, respectively. JJ Peterson also entered the portal.
Then there was an off-campus incident before the start of the Spring Prom that resulted in the suspension of red-shirted freshman Martavius French and real freshman Aaron Willis, both four stars. should be future standout players. French has since entered the transfer portal. Aaron Beasley, meanwhile, has been suspended for another incident.
With all these guys out for the spring prom, Tennessee football was severely limited, and it showed. However, now things have started to change. In the latest development of Position Strengthening Flights, Beasley was reinstated after relinquishing his charges, according to Patrick Brown of GoVols247.
The news comes after Willis was reinstated earlier this month. Meanwhile, Vols added transfer of Texas Longhorns Juwan Mitchell and transfer of Michigan Wolverines William Mohan. They are not where they were before this whole stroke, but now they have options again at the position.
Things look even better when you consider the schematic change the program is undergoing with Tim Banks. He goes from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and the base will depend heavily on nickel, often using just two linebackers, one of which could be an edge rusher.
As for Beasley in particular, he should be of great help to the Flights. Last year, playing mostly in reserve time, the 6’1 ‘225-pound junior made seven tackles, assisted in a tackle for a loss and forced a fumble. It was after switching between defensive back and linebacker. He should be installed as a linebacker now.
Taking this in a larger context, UT is about to get a lot deeper into its position than it appeared in April. Like Solon Page III, who established himself as a spring ball leader and did all he could, Beasley is helping bring experience to the position, so his reinstatement is huge.
Mitchell, meanwhile, is a proven producer at inside linebacker, and Wills brings all the potential as a much-vaunted rookie. Mohan, who saw limited action as a rookie last year in Michigan, also brings potential. It’s also worth noting that the former Kwauze Garland walk-on started making headlines at the station during the Spring Ball.
Put simply, Banks appears to be able to go three deep with two inside linebackers now, and Brian Jean-Mary should be able to figure out how to organize that rotation. Beasley’s reinstatement is another big step in that direction.
This unit won’t be as elite as it would have been with To’o To’o and Crouch, but Tennessee football certainly has some useful players out there now. If they can get a solid performance from their defensive line and the secondary develops, maybe the defense will be much better in the fall than in the spring.