From The Tennessean
The cast on Marlin Lane’s left hand symbolizes how much the Tennessee Vols’ running back has grown up over the last year.
At this time a year ago, Lane was missing the latter part of spring practice for disciplinary reasons. Now he’s earning raves from the same coaching staff that had punished him.
Lane has won respect for continuing to practice despite injuring his hand last month. Vols coach Butch Jones said Lane “has been a warrior for us.”
“I’ve always said if there’s nothing broken in my legs that’s going to stop me from running, I’m going to keep playing,” Lane said.
From The Times Free Press
It was Tennessee’s final full-pads practice before Saturday’s Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium on Thursday, and Butch Jones made sure the sense of urgency was there with his Volunteers.
As his team prepared for its stretching period, the second-year coach gathered the Vols around him and challenged them, specifically their “individual determination.”
Jones remained energetic throughout the open period of practice.
As the Vols went into their first team period, he warned them they had 40 seconds to get the first play off, or gasser sprints awaited the entire team. If too much time passed before a kickoff rep, that rep would be lost, the coach barked. He wanted “perfection” — no football on the ground — as the team did the basketball-style three-man weave after stretching.
After Ethan Wolf just missed making a big catch down the seam during one period, Jones hollered at the freshman tight end to use both hands to make the catch and “be a playmaker.”
He got onto to freshman tailback Jalen Hurd for “being the last in line” as the running backs went from one drill to another.
Even cornerback Malik Foreman, while in a drill on the defensive field across the way from Jones, couldn’t escape the coach’s watchful eyes as Jones urged him to watch his technique in a block-shedding drill.
In addition to pride, finely prepared steaks will be on the line for the ‘Winner Dinner’ at Saturday’s DISH O&W Game. Butch Jones has set up the dinner where the winning team will have a top-notch supper served on fine china while the losing team will have franks and beans served on paper plates with sporks.
“We are calling it ‘Winner Dinner,’ everything in our football program is based off of competition,” said Jones. “In fitting fashion, the winning team in the Spring Game will have a nice sit down dinner with servers, steak, and fine china. The losers will have hot dogs and beans and plastic utensils and paper plates.”
Everything in the Tennessee football program is based on a competitive culture.
“We want something at stake,” said Jones. “Just like the last practice of last week was to see who would wear the orange jerseys (the defense) and who would wear the white jerseys. So much is about the competitive excellence and the competitive greatness that we are working for each and every day. You have to teach players how to compete on a day-to-day basis.