Vols Football: Notes from Last Spring Practice Before Orange and White Game


Vols quarterbacks take snaps during Tuesday’s practice. PHOTO: Nathanael Rutherford

Today was the last spring football practice for the Vols before the Orange and White Game on Saturday, April 25th (assuming it doesn’t get rained out). The Vols didn’t wear pads in today’s practice, and it was overall even more laid back than even Tuesday’s practice.

The workload was relatively light once again for the Vols today, as it was mostly special teams work and individual drills again. Butch Jones, however, didn’t take it easy on the players, making sure the team paid attention to the fundamentals and focused on the details.

Here are some notes from today’s practice:

  • During punt return drills, several Vols playmakers got opportunities to return punts. Cam Sutton, Von Pearson, Pig Howard, Marquez North, Alvin Kamara, and Josh Malone all lined up and returned punts from the punting machine today.
  • The Vols also worked on downing punts deep in enemy territory today. Defenders ran down the field and practiced getting to the ball before it hopped over the goal line.
  • In addition to seeing time at punt returner, Von Pearson was also on the 2nd team kickoff return team, backing up Evan Berry on the unit.


Evan Berry is the real deal as a kick returner. He looked explosive and quick last season, but he looks even better just mere months after the Vols ended their 2014 season. He has excellent burst and vision, something the Vols have lacked in a returner since Cordarrelle Patterson’s brief tenure back in 2012.

Wide receiver Josh Malone has had a very up-and-down spring this offseason, and that trend continued on the last day of practice today. Malone dropped more balls than he caught, and he generally looked less than stellar in his overall performance in all the open drills today. Malone certainly has the build and talent to be a top SEC receiver, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.