Who will step up for Mocs to replace departed veterans?

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / UTC defensive back Kam Brown practices his tackling on a large ball during the Mocs' spring football showcase in April at Finley Stadium. Brown and Reuben Lowery are good candidates for bigger roles this season for a defense that was No. 1 in the SoCon last year.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga lost 40% of its letter winners from last season, including starters at every position on the football field.

For the Mocs to live up to the expectations placed on them after being voted the preseason Southern Conference favorites by both league coaches and media, new bodies will have to step up in some key spots and be ready to contribute.

Here's a look at some likely candidates to take on advanced roles for the Mocs, who began preseason practices Friday and open against league foe Wofford on Sept. 3 at Finley Stadium.

Gino Appleberry and/or Chris Houston, running back

UTC coaches feel like they overused Ailym Ford as a freshman in 2019, leaning heavily on him due to injuries at the position that eventually took out the talented back.