By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
Below are some of my observations from the University of Tennessee’s first two fall practices in my blog, Vince’s View.
-The team early in camp is in jerseys, shorts and helmets
-There are quite a few returning players that look bigger and stronger, clearly benefitting from the second consecutive year with Craig Fitzgerald and the same UT strength and conditioning program
-Equally as impressive is that many of the freshmen look closer to SEC ready than we often saw under Butch Jones, where numerous players were undersized and needed time to bulk-up
-With a couple of exceptions (likely summer newcomers) coaches are able to teach technique and specifics rather than being traffic cops spending valuable time directing players on where to be or coaching effort
-Junior WR Josh Palmer made a spectacular leaping grab of a high pass that was past his shoulders as he secured it with his fingertips to make a clean catch. He looks muscular and crisp early in camp.
-Tight end pairings in just a few early drills, but not all (not depth chart positions):
Dominick Wood-Anderson & Princeton Fant
Jacob Warren & Austin Pope
Jackson Lowe & Andrew Craig
-Few, not all, OL combo block tandems (not depth charts, just pairings):
G – Parker Ball (walk-on) & C – Jackson Lampley
G – Trey Smith & C – Brandon Kennedy
G – K’Rojhn Calbert & T – Marcus Tatum
-True freshman OT Darnell Wright is every bit of the 6’6, 330 he’s listed at by UT
-Wright has very light feet for his size. In OT/TE combo blocking drills, he shuffle stepped to his right and then burst forward to attack the next blocker. He’s quick and smooth with his feet for his mammoth size.
-3-man DL drills pairings in one drill, which could have been different in other parts of practice (again, not a depth chart):
RDE – Matthew Butler, NT – Emmit Gooden, LDE – Aubrey Solomon
RDE – John Mincey, NT – Kingston Harris, LDE – Ja’Quain Blakely
RDE – LaTrell Bumphus, NT – Greg Emerson, LDE – Savion Williams
RDE – Darel Middleton, NT – Elijah Simmons, LDE – Gatkek Kueth (walk-on)
-The scholarship players working at outside linebacker in our viewing periods, in no particular order:
-The scholarship players working at inside linebacker in our viewing periods, in no particular order:
Solon Page III
-Check my blog daily for more observations and notes from Tennessee football fall practice in 2019.
Find more of my broadcasting work at VinceSports.net.