Marquez North began his career in Knoxville with high expectations. Ranked as the No. 10 wide receiver of the 2014 recruiting class, North immediately made a splash as a starter for the Vols in 2013, leading the team with 496 yards on 38 receptions. North’s only touchdown was the one of the season’s biggest highlights, a tip-toe catch down 17-3 against Georgia to begin a rally that would force overtime. Two weeks later, North made an equally impressive one-handed 39-yard catch that set up a game-winning field goal to upset then-No. 11 South Carolina, a play dubbed by ESPN as the “catch of the year”.

North enters the 2014 season as Tennessee’s unanimous No. 1 receiver. The sophomore finds himself surrounded by a talented group of pass catchers that will further elevate his production. The Vols gained commitments from JUCO All-American Von Pearson and five-star high school prospect Josh Malone. Tennessee will also have a more experienced Alton “Pig” Howard returning to its lineup after showing improvement and versatility as a sophomore. But the focus is on North, who despite showing his inexperience at times, truly showcased his high ceiling as a freshman.

North’s raw talent was enough to help him excel during his first season. To become an elite SEC wideout, he will need to show improvement in his route running as a sophomore. Many expect to see an improvement from North as the Vols top pass catcher in 2014 and expectations are high. As Justin Worley settles into his final season in Knoxville, the passing attack should improve with more experience on both sides. A full year at the collegiate level will fix the few flaws showcased during North’s freshman season and Tennessee fans should continue to have high expectations for the young receiver in year two.