The Tennessee Vols took the practice field for the fourth time in four days Monday afternoon, and the team once again had a solid practice under the sweltering afternoon sun.
After being reprimanded by Butch Jones yesterday, the team came out with much more intensity for this practice. Players were not slacking off during the stretching period, and everyone was more vocal throughout practice.
No clear-cut starters have been established for the punt returners, as Von Pearson, Jacob Carter, Vic Wharton III, Josh Malone, Emmanuel Moseley, and Cam Sutton all fielded punts.
Josh Smith and Vic Wharton both received praise from Butch Jones over the mic during quarterback-receiver drills late in the practice, and both have looked solid throughout the first few practices.
Here are some quick notes from today’s practice:
- Freshman kicker Aaron Medley looked very impressive during some field goal drills this afternoon. He easily has the strongest leg of all the kickers on the Vols’ roster, and he looked to be the most accurate today as well.
- Redshirt senior punter Matt Darr looked inconsistent, but there was more good than bad overall. He shanked a couple punts during a special teams session, but he followed them up with more powerful punts as well.
- During a team session where the team broke up into offense and defense and did a quick, no tackle scrimmage, Jalen Hurd looked impressive. He ripped off a big run on the 1st team and the drive was finished off by a Devrin Young scamper down the sidelines for a score.
- Josh Malone made a great snag before falling out of bounds during the same team session. Malone took the field with the second team, and he reeled in a pass from Josh Dobbs by smacking it down from above his head and coming down with it before falling out of bounds.
During the team period, Nathan Peterman took the field with the 1st team, Dobbs with the 2nd, and Worley with the 2nd and 3rd team. This move shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it was interesting to see Peterman get the first opportunity when it came to a more game-like situation.
Marlin Lane and Jalen Hurd both saw time with the 1st team offense, as well as Josh Smith with the receivers.
Of note on the 1st team defense was Devaun Swafford at safety, Jaylen Reeves-Maybin at the other linebacker spot alongside A.J. Johnson, and Justin Coleman at the nickle cornerback spot. The starting defensive line was comprisecd of Owen Williams and Danny O’Brien at tackle and Corey Vereen and Curt Maggitt at defensive end.
Josh Dobbs started with the 2nd team offense, and Johnathon Johnson and Josh Malone were of note for the receivers on the 2nd team.
On the 2nd team defense was Dillon Bates and Kenny Bynum at linebacker, Todd Kelly Jr. and Rashaan Gaulden at safety, and Evan Berry saw time at one of the cornerback spots.
The tight ends once again looked impressive, but this time it wasn’t just the new freshmen who made some impressive grabs. A.J. Branisel made a couple good grabs during a session with the quarterbacks, and both Wolf and Helm reeled in a couple nice catches as well.
Still no big news on the QB front, as both Worley and Dobbs had struggles today along with some good flashes. Worley underthrew several receivers, while Dobbs showed some good zip on the ball but tossed some bad balls as well.
The Vols will take the field again tomorrow for yet another practice to prepare for the season opener on Sunday, August 31st against Utah State.