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  This time last year, Tennessee edge rusher Byron Young had never played a snap at the major college level. Young is now the only Volunteers player to earn a spot on the Southeastern Conference's preseason first team. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder from Georgetown, South Carolina, had a debut year worth savoring in Knoxville, amassing 46 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. "Last season gave me a lot of confidence," Young said in a recent news conference. "I remember how nervous I was and how I wouldn't talk to anybody. I'm more advanced now and more confident with my technique and in being a leader. "I'm way more comfortable." The Vols went through their 11th preseason practice Saturday in preparation for Sunday's second scrimmage.

This time last year, Young was also Tennessee's most unique story, having left the Palmetto State after high school for Columbus, Georgia, where he worked for 18 months as an assistant manager at Dollar General before giving football another try at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. Young had a stellar 2019 season at GMC, collecting 31 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks, but the outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020 wiped out junior college football later that year. Young enrolled at Tennessee in January 2021 and started gaining confidence during his first spring practice, but an NCAA eligibility snag prevented him from competing in the opening games against Bowling Green and Pittsburgh. In his initial contest against Tennessee Tech, a 56-0 romp, Young led the Vols with six tackles and helped limit the Golden Eagles to 35 rushing yards. A starter for the final eight games, Young wound up tying linebacker Jeremy Banks for the team lead in tackles for loss and sacks, and he capped his season with 2.5 tackles for loss and his first career interception in the Music City Bowl. - Chattanooga Times Free Press

rSr/2023 OLB Byron YoungTennessee
News Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

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