Tennessee might not have another Eric Berry at safety.
It could have another Janzen Jackson though, which should be enough to make life without its superstar a little easier.
Darren Myles didn't get as many chances to shine as a freshman, didn't enter the spring as a lock to win a starting job and hasn't drawn comparisons to Berry the way Jackson did a year ago. But through five spring practices, finding any differences between the two on the field hasn't been easy - which is exactly how Myles wants it and might be the best way for the Vols to transition in the secondary.
"It's me and Janzen, that's a wrap," Myles said. "I mean, that's all I've got to say. We're both the same. That's my boy, we hang together all the time, so I mean, it's going to be better for us because we communicate all the time. We understand each other and what's going on back there.
"We alternate and we compete a lot. So if he gets a big hit, I'm looking for my big hit. If I get a big hit, he's looking for the big hit. If I get a pick, he's looking for the pick."
That competition was clearly one-sided a year ago with Jackson sliding into the starting lineup with Berry while Myles was trapped on the bench - and not exactly happy to be there.
The sophomore will openly admit disappointment in his role a year ago, when he appeared in just seven games and only made six tackles. Myles takes some of the blame for not earning more playing time himself, but the rest is largely directed at the old coaching staff, which if nothing else gave him a fresh start when it left.
"It's a relief," Myles said. "It's always a better start, that's how I see it. I've got a clean slate, coaches come in that don't me and that's how I look at it. It's like a new coach so it's a new chance to prove myself. I'm not trying to be put into a different category.
"I just kind of felt like I did get messed over a little bit. But I kind of felt like it was my part, too. I mean, last year is over with. It was different coaches, and I'm here now and it's a new me. You have to wait your time. I just kept working, and now it's my time."
He should get plenty of it under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox in schemes that rely on athletic defensive backs, which Jackson and Myles obviously are. In some form they are the favorites to start at safety, though which one goes where might not really be decided.
Myles hinted that the Vols are rotating the two at the free and strong spots in the secondary, another indication of the similarities between them. Wilcox will eventually need more than two guys like them since he's never been shy about playing five or six defensive backs at a time, but UT at least has a head start.
"They all have good physical skills, and Darren has got a lot of good twitch, he's active, he's physical," coach Derek Dooley said. "But Prentiss (Waggner) is an athletic guy, and both of them bring very different skill sets, so I think we'll play it out. The thing about defensive back is you play so much nickel and even dime that you need five or six really good players back there.
"You've got to have a lot of cover guys, and they've got to be able to tackle in space. Especially when you get down in the nickel position and dime position, there's plays when you're really a linebacker. So finding those body types that can do that, they're hard to find."