Jarrett Guarantano

Tennessee-South Carolina side-by-side starting lineup with class and talent ratings

A couple of weeks ago, we posted side-by-side depth charts for Tennessee and Georgia and included the players’ respective classes and recruiting rankings. The main conclusion from doing that was that yes, Georgia’s starting lineup was more talented than Tennessee’s. The end result of the game was certainly attributable to more than just a gap in talent, of course, but the Bulldogs did have a pretty clear advantage in that department.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are talented as well, but Tennessee does have better numbers. Whether it will matter is a different question.

Here’s the side-by-side projected starters for this week’s game between the Vols and the Gamecocks, with each players’ class and recruiting rankings. If you can’t see the entire chart embedded below, click here for full page:

As before, the color codes are based on the range of 247 Composite numbers on the list. The range starts with deep green at the top and ends with deep red at the bottom. The highest-rated player on the list is Tennessee defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie.

Here’s the list of starters, sorted by recruiting ranking (full page here):

Obvious caveat is obvious but will be noted anyway: The star ratings and 247 Composite numbers are from the players’ recruiting profiles and are not necessarily indicative of how valuable they currently are to their respective teams. Some lower-ranked guys are doing better than their rankings, and some guys with really high rankings have yet to live up to expectations.

That said, here are a few observations:

  • Of the nine highest-ranked players, Tennessee has eight of them.
  • Of the next 17, South Carolina has 12 of them.
  • Tennessee running back John Kelly versus South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore is a matchup of extremely under-rated players. Both of these guys have far surpassed their respective expectations upon arriving on campus.
  • If you’re just going by talent, Tennessee should have the advantage at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Of the nine positions, Tennessee has three 4-stars and two 5-stars. The Gamecocks have two 4-stars.
  • South Carolina’s passing game is incredibly young, but incredibly talented.

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