UT Vols' Richardson, Johnson soon to begin NFL evaluations

photo Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) tackles Vanderbilt running back Wesley Tate (24) in this file photo.

photo Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson (74).

KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee football program is expecting its incoming class of signees, ranked among the nation's best by multiple recruiting services and filled with touted players at needed positions, to provide a boost for next season.

The Volunteers could use the returns of a couple of current players, too.

Following Saturday night's season finale at Kentucky, left tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson and middle linebacker A.J. Johnson will start the process of deciding whether to jump to the NFL draft or stay at Tennessee for their senior years.