Vols Football Spring Practice No. 1 Updates 3.7



Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2010


-Early enrollee DB Tyus Fields and RB Eric Gray were both limited participants. Fields showed up to a basketball game last month wearing a boot on his left foot.

-Trey Smith was on the field and in shorts and a jersey with his teammates, but no cleats and wasn't participating in any contact. Chance Hall was on the field in warmups helping coach.
-Quavaris Crouch is every big the 6-1, 242 pounds he's listed. Even with no pads, a hulking frame that can move well. Both he and J.J. Peterson were working with ILBs today. Peterson looked in much better shape than last fall.

-Among the loudest voices on the practice field today: New OC Jim Chaney. He was working closely with the OL during the open period. Newcomer Wanya Morris looked good, but in shorts and helmets, it's insulting to your intelligence to glean much from the OL work we saw.

Will be a big spring for redshirt freshman linebacker JJ Peterson. He looks MUCH BETTER physically compared to last fall. Now can he pickup the playbook?

Marcus Tatum got reps at both left and right tackle, Jerome Carvin worked at left guard and right tackle, Ryan Johnson took reps at center and right guard and Riley Locklear worked at both spots on the right side of the line. Jahmir Johnson worked primarily at left guard, Nathan Niehaus was mostly at right tackle and K'Rojhn Calbert got some work at right guard. Freshman Wanya Morris, who already looks the part, worked exclusively at left tackle. Brandon Kennedy, the Alabama transfer who missed all but one game of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, did get some reps in during individual drills.
As far as the newcomers go, Crouch and Morris were two who quickly pass the eye test, and both tight end Jackson Lowe and Georgia transfer Deangelo Gibbs, who was at wide receiver also look the part
Other returning players who look noticeably different at linebacker Shanon Reid, who was almost unrecognizable having gone from being smallish compared to the other players at his position to more closely resembling them
Redshirt freshman JJ Peterson didn't look night-and-day different, but he does look slimmer and moved around better than he did last season when he showed up out of shape and overweight after joining the Vols the day after the first game.
Another player who caught the eye was sophomore defensive back Alontae Taylor. He physically looks bigger and is carrying himself with much more confidence as he and fellow sophomore Bryce Thompson were leading the line in cornerback drills. Now wearing No. 2, Taylor looks to have added some strength this winter and was vocal in drills, encouraging his teammates and letting them know when they did something well.
The first group through one three-man drill on the defensive line consisted of Emmit Gooden, Matthew Butler and John Mincey.
-Patrick Brown

John Mincey, Emmit Gooden, and Matthew Butler were getting a lot of reps today. Newcomer Aubrey Solomon wasn’t far behind them, but it’s clear he’s going to have to work his way up the pecking order. Luckily for Tennessee, he’s more than capable of doing so, and if he can get eligible for the fall, that will be a huge boost.
LaTrell Bumphus has been moved over to the defensive line from tight end
Quavaris Crouch already looks the part, and I like the explosiveness he has. He practiced with the inside linebackers, along with J.J. Peterson.
I don’t know what’s gotten in to Shanon Reid, but he looks like an NFL linebacker with the way he’s built.
Derrick Ansley stuck around with the secondary during the open portion of practice. But since Pruitt trusts him to coach the defensive backs, Pruitt was able to roam around a little more on the defensive side. Pruitt didn’t wander over to the offense any that I saw.
-N. Rutherford

All three quarterbacks looked good throwing the football against air; they threw to the running backs and then wide receivers. There were some inaccurate throws, but not many, from all three when working on timing routes to the sideline.
Deangelo Gibbs worked with the receivers as he waits to find out if he’ll be eligible this season. Though he played DB at Georgia, he looks the part of a wide receiver and didn’t look out of place when running his routes.
-Ben McKee

A pair of freshmen, running back Eric Gray and defensive back Tyus Fields, were not on the field during the open periods. They were on the sideline working with the strength and conditioning staff.

Offensive tackle Trey Smith, who is sidelined indefinitely after recurring blood clots in his lungs, did not participate in practice but was on the field giving feedback and encouragement to the offensive linemen. He wore his jersey but not a helmet.
Center Brandon Kennedy participated in individual offensive line drills and showed plenty of drive. Kennedy missed the final 11 games of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Even with a slew of walk-ons, the offensive line is clearly shorthanded. With the “main group,” there was almost as many guys observing practice (Chance Hall, Trey Smith, Tanner Antonutti and Brandon Kennedy, who is limited just six months off ACL surgery) as those participating. Newcomer Wanya Morris worked a bit at guard but most every rep came at left tackle.
New defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley spent all the individual periods working with the safeties, while Jeremy Pruitt handled the cornerbacks. Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson both looked good, as did Terrell Bailey, who ran No. 3 in all the reps and appears to have added some bulk.
Trevon Flowers went first in every safety drill. The sophomore as added some upper body muscle, too. JJ Peterson is in much better shape but still looks to be swimming mentally. The same goes for Quavaris Crouch, who was pulled to the side several times to explain some footwork techniques
Emmit Gooden and John Mincey, now 280 pounds, led the group. Former 5-star and Michigan transfer Aubrey Solomon didn’t take a ton of reps.


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Well-Known Member
Jan 29, 2011
We might end up with a solid group of linebackers. Hopefully they get a lot of good reps in this spring and continue the strides in the weight room that we have been hearing about. Still a ton of time for improvement!

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