There's an all-conference selection lagging well behind a walk-on in catches.
The only guy who has made more grabs than a largely unknown reserve this spring is a senior tight end, and those receptions haven't put the veteran all that close to the lead in yardage.
Even the return of Justin Hunter and a couple big plays from the junior weren't quite enough to knock the underdog from the top of Tennessee's leaderboard.
The Vols might be short on options in the passing game this spring, and they could use the infusion of talent that will be on campus in time for fall. But they still have a handful of proven targets, and statistically all of them right now are trying to keep up with Jacob Carter.
"We don't have too much depth right now, so everybody's working in," Carter said after practice on Tuesday. "Everybody's getting some time on the field, so it hasn't surprised me too much.
"Everybody's getting opportunities right now. You've just got to make the most of it, I guess."
There might not be anybody on the UT roster squeezing more out of their chances than Carter at the moment, and it hasn't gone unnoticed af
ter making an impact in both scrimmages during camp.
Thanks to some overall struggles in the passing game, the first outing might not have stood out as much despite tying for the team lead with four catches and finishing with 38 yards. But he followed that up with four more grabs in the second live session on Saturday, and with an eye-catching 102 yards that was easily the highest total of the afternoon, the positive reviews started rolling in from teammates and coaches alike.
"Jacob is doing a good job," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. " ... He's playing with a lot of toughness and he's playing with consistency, so what he's doing out there hasn't been a fluke. He works hard, he's got good size, he's tough, he's got good hands, so he's been able to be productive.
"When you're a consistent player, especially at wideout, you have an ability to be productive because the quarterbacks trust you. They know where you're going to be and they know what your skill sets are."
Justin Worley has been the passer taking advantage of that familiarity the most with Carter, and the rapport between the two on the second-team offense has clearly yielded positive results for the Vols.
The yardage the tandem has racked up is unlikely to help Worley push starter Tyler Bray for playing time at quarterback, and with four highly-touted recruits on the way to join up with Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers and tight end Mychal Rivera, Carter might still have a hard time cracking the rotation in the passing game.
But he's already earned a promotion on special teams, and Carter might also have done enough to at least present himself as another option to consider on offense.
"You know, Zach (Rogers), Da'Rick, Justin, they're phenomenal receivers right now," Carter said. "I just do what I can. Justin (Worley) is going to give me opportunities to make plays, and I'm going to try to help him out as much as I can. All those guys, they have your back. No matter if you're the last guy on the depth chart or anything.
"I think they're slowly gaining some trust in me."
And if anybody is holding out, at this point Carter can simply refer to the stats sheet this spring.