Vols Football: Notes From First Day of Spring Practice


Sophomore wide receiver Josh Malone makes a catch during the first day of spring practice for the Vols. PHOTO: Nathanael Rutherford

The Tennessee Volunteers football team took the field for the first time since they defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Taxslayer Bowl on January 2nd. While the team wasn’t in pads and didn’t have any contact, there was still plenty to be gathered from the first day of spring practice.

All the early enrollee newcomers wore the traditional black stripe on their helmets to begin the spring, just as every freshman has since Butch Jones took over as head coach. The most notable players donning the black stripes were running back Alvin Kamara, defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, offensive lineman Chance Hall, and quarterbacks Quinten Dormady and Jauan Jennings.

Practice today mostly consisted of light run-throughs and basic drills acclimating the newer players to the way the Vols run practices, but some players still stood out in the first day.

Here are some notes from the first spring practice of 2015:

  • As expected, the running back unit was razor thin, with Kamara and rising sophomore Jalen Hurd as the only scholarship backs with the unit. Walk-ons Chris Beck and Jayson Sparks also participated in drills, pushing the unit’s numbers to four total backs.
  • Alvin Kamara was also part of the brigade at punt returner to start the practice today. Many other players were thrown in the mix, but Kamara would certainly open up some interesting options if they decide to stick with him.
  • Freshman offensive lineman Chance Hall has a huge upper body, but he could definitely do with some more strength training on his lower body. With that being said, his frame is gigantic and should hold up well.
  • As expected, Marquez North and Jalen Hurd, two young staples in the Vols offense in 2014, wore green non-contact jerseys for today’s practice and likely will for all of spring.


Josh Smith was back at wide receiver, and he was a full-go and looked good for the most part. He has a little rust, but that’s to be expected after missing the majority of the 2014 season. Josh Malone was still a mixed bag overall, but he did show more consistency than last season. He does look a bit more confident as well.

Both new quarterbacks’ strengths and weaknesses are already somewhat apparent after the first day of practice, but they still have time to work on what ails them. Jennings has a strong arm, but his accuracy could use some improvement. Dormady has good vision, but his footwork is something coaches addressed a few times during practice.