Tennessee Football: Looking back at the Volunteers career of Derek Barnett

One of the top players in the state of Tennessee out of high school, Derek Barnett would commit to Tennessee Football, and would go-on to have a phenomenal three-year career in Knoxville. One of the SEC’s, as well as college football’s, top pass rushers during his time with the Volunteers, is Barnett one of the greatest players to put on a Tennessee uniform in recent memory?

Looking back at the Tennessee Football career of Derek Barnett

A former four-star out of high school, Barnett originally came to Tennessee in the Volunteers 2014 recruiting class as an in-state prospect out of Brentwood Academy. Making an immediate impact with the Volunteers as well, Barnett would go-on to instantly become one of SEC’s top pass rushers as a freshman.

During that 2014 season, Barnett would appear in a total of 13 games for the Volunteers, collecting a career-high 73 tackles, 20.5 TFL, and nine sacks. Receiving honors such as Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman, Barnett’s nine sacks would rank fifth in all of the SEC that season, along with his 20.5 TFL ranking seventh nationally and second in the SEC.

Following that freshman season, Barnett was cemented as one of the SEC’s top pass rushers entering 2015, and would follow up that year with his second consecutive Second Team All-SEC selection as a sophomore. Ranking third in the SEC with 10 sacks, Barnett would collect a total of 69 tackles for the Volunteers, along with 12.5 TFL.

Barnett’s 2016 junior season however might be what most college football fans remember him by, one in which he led the SEC with 13 sacks (fifth nationally) and 19 TFL. Collecting 56 tackles that season as well, Barnett would also record career-high’s in PD’s (5), forced fumbles (2 – fifth in SEC), and interceptions (1), as well as being named a consensus All-American at seasons end.

One of the greatest pass rushers in Tennessee history, Barnett would total 198 tackles, 52 TFL, and 32 sacks during his collegiate career, as well as one interception, six PD’s, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

At the conclusion of his junior season, Barnett would enter the 2017 NFL Draft where he would be selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering his sixth season with the Eagles in 2022, the one-time Super Bowl champion has since collected a combined 147 tackles, 36 TFL, and 21.5 sacks across 64 career games.