Tennessee Spring Practice #2

#1

Fingers

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#1




Don’t overlook WR Kaleb Webb for Vols in 2024. Looks strong. Leading the outside receiver group. Noticeably coaching younger WRs on fundamentals in drills. And he and Nico Iamaleava have talked routes in between reps.
Freshman Braylon Staley with a great contested catch over the middle out of the slot. Defender hanging on him. Made fingertip catch, shook off defender, kept his feet and never broke stride.
Chris Brazzell makes a diving catch of a bullet pass from Nico on a sideline route.
a.sparks
Zalance Heard and Chris Brazzell both were impressive in first team reps.Brazzell made a diving catch on the sideline in his first set of reps.Heard looks like he’s more than capable of bullying opposing defensive linemen.
t.harlin
Offensive Line (l-to-r)

1st Group: Lance Heard, Dayne Davis, Vysen Lang, Jackson Lampley, John Campbell
2nd Group: Jessee Perry, Sham Umarov, William Satterwhite, Ayden Bussell, Trevor Duncan

Defensive line

1st Group: James Pearce (LEO), Omarr Norman-Lott, Omari Thomas, Domonic Bailey
2nd Group: Joshua Josephs (LEO), Elijah Simmons, Bryson Eason, Tyre West
3rd Group: Caleb Herring (LEO), Daevin Hobbs, Jaxson Moi, Jayson Jenkins

Linebacker

1st Group: Keenan Pili, Kalib Perry
2nd Group: Jeremiah Telander, Jalen Smith
3rd Group: Ben Boltin, Edwin Spillman

Secondary (CB, CB, S, S, STAR)

1st Group: Jermod McCoy, Rickey Gibson, Andre Turrentine, Will Brooks, Jourdan Thomas
2nd Group: Jalen McMurray, Jordan Matthews, John Slaughter, Jakobe Thomas, Boo Carter
Other Notables: Cristian Conyer (CB), Kaleb Beasley (CB), Christian Harrison (STAR), Marcus Goree (CB)

Dont’e Thornton wins vs. Rickey Gibson (slant)
Ethan Davis wins vs. Andre Turrentine (slant)
Kaleb Webb wins vs. Jermod McCoy (comeback)
Braylon Staley wins vs. Boo Carter (slant)
Jordan Thomas wins vs. Squirrel White (slant) – nice breakup
Christian Harrison wins vs. Braylon Staley (skinny post)
Holden Steas did a great job of using his body against smaller defenders
Mike Matthews beat someone on a slant (didn’t see who)
Chris Brazzell has a great takeoff the line of scrimmage
Chas Nimrod went up high to reel in a hitch

Trevor Duncan’s head is probably spinning but he’s getting plenty of reps at right tackle. He’s also following John Campbell around and trying to learn as much as possible from him. Welcome to college football, Jesse Perry as the early enrollee is getting work at left tackle. Sham Umarov, who is a natural tackle, is learning to play guard this spring with hopes of competing for the starting gig in fall camp. Ayden Bussell is probably the guys feeling most comfortable on second-team OL right now, playing his natural guard. William Satterwhite is also getting work at center as he and Lang are learning to play both guard and center.
Quarterbacks spent some time throwing on the rollout during individual period. Jake Merklinger struggled during this period. Nico Iamaleava had another good day and easily looked the best out of his position group. That’s expected as Merklinger continues to get his feet wet. Iamaleava does a great job of communicating with his receivers between reps, something Josh Heupel pointed out yesterday.
Finally, Braylon Staley has looked good through two days. He runs good routes out of the slot and has made some nice catches. He’s been one that has easily jumped off the page to date.
e.cain

Those working on the side with the strength staff during the individual periods of practice on Tuesday were offensive linemen Javontez Spraggins, Andrej Karic, wide receivers Bru McCoy and Nathan Leacock, linebacker Elijah Herring and safety Christian Charles. We also didn’t see offensive linemen Brian Grant and Masai Reddick or running back Peyton Lewis. Linebacker Arion Carter, coming off shoulder surgery, is cleared for pretty much everything but contact, and the sophomore is heavily involved anyway – he went through turnover circuit, position drills (he mimicked the technique of a block-shedding drills without hitting the sled) and was the running back during a walk-through run-fit period.
James Pearce Jr. is practicing with his right hand/wrist wrapped in a cast (it looks like a club), but is not limited in any way.
During the team periods, the defense looked to do more good than the offense, which struggled some up front against an active defensive line and the linebackers playing downhill. Low snaps from Lang also caused problems on several plays. But for a few plays, there wasn’t much time for Iamaleava and the quarterbacks to sit back in the pocket comfortably, but it was good for Tennessee to get back into the swing of things with its operations – plays and checks were being signaled in from the sideline and coaches were on their headsets.
The best play of the period was still by the offense. Iamaleava did what he does best and threw a dime on the run. The redshirt freshman quarterback rolled to his right to extend a play and threw an outside-shoulder strike to Brazzell, who made the catch falling away from the defender (McMurray).
Norman-Lott blew up a screen pass early on, but the backs made a couple of plays in the passing game with Sampson and Keith getting into space for big gains. Seldon also had a nice cutback that would have gone for a chunk run – it’s hard to gauge how successful run plays would be with the Vols in thud, aka limited-contact mode.
Hobbs showed up with a pressure in the backfield and Perry filled a gap to stop a run play. More pressure forced a checkdown from Iamaleava that was stuffed. Iamaleava bounced back and hit Thornton for a short gain on an RPO during his second series.
Okoye dropped a slant that was thrown slightly behind him, a missed opportunity for the passing game.
The quarterbacks, wideouts and receivers were pretty crisp in routes on air with Brazzell and Matthews the standouts from an eye-test standpoint. There are smooth, fluid athletes who make it look effortless. Staley also made a nice fingertip snag on a hard throw slightly behind him on a slant, moments after Brazzell couldn’t complete the catch in a similar scenario.
Iamaleava was on point outside of a misfire to Webb.
Thornton won a physical battle with Gibson who jammed him at the line before Turrentine got a PBU on Davis. Gibson had another good rep against Thornton, who created some separation, but a late throw on a corner route was wide and out of bounds with Gibson recovering. Jourdan Thomas fared better slowing down White than Harrison did, but Harrison bounced back to recover and get in position for a pass breakup against Staley to end the period.
Webb got the better of McCoy for a completion, but walk-on Montrell Bandy made a nice play against him the next time through. Brazzell had a good release against McCoy, and Matthews smothered Nimrod off the line for a win. Staley got a win against Carter on a slant in an all-freshman matchup, and tight ends Staes, Davis and Kitselman (twice) created separation and caught passes over the middle in matchups against safeties.
p. brown
 
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#3
#3
Second! Couple displaced Volunteers over in NC getting in here early.

THANKS FINGERZ! Have been waiting for these threads since the bowl game. Think the national writers are underrating our beloved VOLS this season. Dont know if Vegas is still offering 8.5 for our season win total...but take the OVER if so. This is a 9-3 team for sure with a chance to pull off 10-2 and a playoff berth IMO. GO VOLS
 
#8
#8
No Coop in practice today?

Is cooper sitting out this spring?
The Vols already have center Cooper Mays on a pitch count. He got a couple of tempo-period reps at center, but that was it. He was working on the side during the team period along with offensive linemen (redshirt freshman) Trevor Duncan and Gage Ginther (freshman) and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Tyree Weathersby.
p.brown
 
#10
#10
I'm still concerned about our OL, but if the past three seasons are indicative, Heup & Co. should have them mostly decent.
E. Simmons, is he in condition yet? It seems he has very capable of blowing up OL-men, but consistently. I sort of expect to see his name mentioned quite a bit this spring. Anyway, thank you, Fengles.
 
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#12
#12
Second! Couple displaced Volunteers over in NC getting in here early.

THANKS FINGERZ! Have been waiting for these threads since the bowl game. Think the national writers are underrating our beloved VOLS this season. Dont know if Vegas is still offering 8.5 for our season win total...but take the OVER if so. This is a 9-3 team for sure with a chance to pull off 10-2 and a playoff berth IMO. GO VOLS

I'm not conceding a loss to anybody. Odds are against it, but we're capable of winning them all. Should be a fun season with Nico at QB making a huge difference.
 
#14
#14
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#21
#21
Don't like hearing that Nico isn't getting much time. Memories of the bowl game come to mind.


I know, I know, but still.
 

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