Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Tennessee’s Darnell Wright draws praise from former SEC OL/SEC Network analyst

It was a bit of a head scratcher when Tennessee steadfastly decided to move Darnell Wright from left tackle to right tackle during the offseason. After all, Wright was a standout at left tackle in 2021. However, there was no hesitation nor second-guessing, the move was done and that was that. It’s working out quite well.

Wright has been a key member of an offensive line unit that has exceeded preseason expectations. In September, the Vols held their own against stout defensive fronts like Pittsburgh and Florida. Then, the Vols shut down LSU and its vaunted pass rush. Per Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network, Wright has excelled at right tackle to the point of dominating against Alabama last week.

Cubelic offered this disclaimer before anyone starts handing out an offensive lineman of the year award:

“I’m not counting plays with RB, TE, OG help. Play action or quick protection. Please understand as well. 31 (Will Anderson Jr.) rushed outside the tackle after lining up inside the tackle on a large number of these reps. That gives the tackle an advantage. Some of these the ball is also out quick.”

Wright was tasked with handling Anderson for much of the game against Alabama on Saturday. That’s no easy feat. Anderson is considered one of the top defensive players in the nation and drew strong Heisman Trophy consideration last season. Still, Wright handled him well. Anderson, who can be seen trying to rush Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker on the right side of the offensive line in this video had only three tackles against the Vols on Saturday.

Cubelic was a standout offensive lineman at Auburn before beginning his broadcasting career. The Vols play Tennessee-Martin on Saturday.
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