Tennessee Vols morning report: Pro day recap, spring practice coverage

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

March is already set to wrap up for 2022, and the Tennessee Vols continue to steal headlines. Football is the driving force of the program in the spring right now, but stories on the court and on the diamond are also making their way into spring news.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with continuing coverage of spring practice for football along with a recap of UT’s Pro Day. Meanwhile, women’s basketball news that was already out there was made official on Wednesday.

On the diamond, both the men’s and women’s programs had midweek wins, and we’ll cover each of them, as the wild success continues there. Let’s go ahead and dive in, starting with the news surrounding the football program.

QB coach, OL coach, linemen talk spring ball – Austin Price, VolQuest

As spring practice for 2022 continues for the Tennessee Vols football program, Wednesday was about the offensive line. Glen Elarbee, who coaches the position spoke along with linemen Javontez Spraggins, Jerome Carvin and Addison Nichols. Quarterback coach Joey Halzle also spoke. Elarbee talked about looking for versatility. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“I think sometimes there is a unique combination where a guy has the feet or the length, brain, traits, whatever it may be, that he can play inside and can play outside. We typically try to pinpoint ‘man this guy is going to be a tackle’ or ‘this guy is going to be a center or guard.”"

Halzle talked about the quarterback rotation with Hendon Hooker as the guaranteed starter. Here’s his explanation for that.

"“With Hendon coming back, he has taken the lion’s share of the 1s reps, and we are working Joe in some too. Tayven (Jackson) is getting the 3s reps, and then he pushes up and takes some 2 reps. We still move them around a lot, but the guys that have been here and have played a bunch are taking the lion’s share of reps at this point.”"

Spraggins discussed his comfortability entering his second year on the job. This is what he said on that front.

"“As far as last year goes, I know those new coaches had a lot to put into us, as far as the things they wanted to see from us going along through the season. At the time we are at right now, we basically already everything we need to get on a roll. Everything from last year has already been installed.”"

Carvin discussed his mindset entering his last spring camp, as he is a super senior. This is how he described it.

"“Being in my last spring, I’ve had fun out there. Just getting better and trying more consistent, as much as I can. Be more of a leader with the offensive line, as well as the team, and just working on my craft.”"

Nichols, a true freshman, is seeing some reps at center. He touched on potential playing time this fall. Take a look at his statements on that.

"“I’m not really thinking about what I’m going to do in-season, right now. I’m just kind of focusing on the moment, getting through spring ball and just getting better in the moment.”"

Highlights available from Vols hold Pro DayJack Foster, SI.com

Wednesday was the Tennessee Vols football program’s Pro Day. Nine players trying to prove themselves to NFL scouts took part in it, and highlights have been made available.

"Highlights from Tennessee’s Pro Day, including 40-yard dashes, wide receiver routes, cornerback drills, figure-8 drills and more can be seen…Velus Jones Jr., Kenneth George Jr., JaVonta Payton, Matt Butler, Alontae Taylor, Theo Jackson, Jay Blakely, Donovan Slates and Cade Mays are featured…"

Women’s basketball confirms transfers – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com

Earlier this month and at separate times, Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Jasmine Powell and Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Rikea Jackson announced their intentions to transfer to the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball program. On Wednesday, Kellie Harper confirmed their arrivals. Here’s what she said about each of them in a press release.

"“I’m excited about Jasmine’s ability to create scoring opportunities for herself and teammates both in transition and in the half court. The versatility, skill set and size that Rickea has will allow her to be aggressive and make plays from multiple positions.”"

Baseball dominates Western Carolina – Wes Rucker, GoVols247

In their first game ever as a team ranked No. 1 across most polls, the Tennessee Vols baseball team beat the Western Carolina Catamounts 11-1. Ace Blade Tidwell made his debut, pitching one inning and allowing the only run. Zander Sechrist got the start, and Will Mabrey got the win. UT improves to 24-1 and will visit the Vanderbilt Commodores this weekend. WCU falls to 11-14.

"Freshman second baseman Christian Moore continued the torrid start to his college career with a 2-for-5 performance at the plate, finishing with one home run, one triple and three RBI. Junior center fielder Drew Gilbert also homered for Tennessee on a night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium where extremely high winds blowing straight in made that a tough task."

Softball handles Lipscomb – UTSports

Coming off a huge series win at the Florida Gators and ahead of their weekend matchup with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Tennessee Lady Vols softball team improved to 23-9 on the year with a 9-2 win over the Lipscomb Bisons, who fell to 13-19. Ryleigh White started the game, but Bailey McCachren, who allowed no earned runs in over four innings pitched, got the win.

"Junior outfielder Kiki Milloy blasted her 11th home run of the season and drove in a game-high four RBIs on the night, pushing her RBI total to 31 on the year. Freshman left fielder Lair Beautae went 2-for-3, drove in two runs and homered for the fourth time this year, while rookie infielder McKenna Gibson had a two-hit outing that included her fifth bomb of the season."