The Tennessee Vols Football team opened spring practice on Tuesday afternoon, looking to start the 2020 season on the right note.
A notable change to the current roster would be former DE Jordan Allen making the move to tight end. The RS Junior has played the last few years on the defensive side of the ball, so a switch to the offense might pay dividends in playing time.
Harrison Bailey will wear #15 according to the Spring roster.
The Vols hit the practice field late Tuesday afternoon, as the rain poured down from the sky.
The QB’s were working in three’s today, with the running backs getting in some reps with the group towards the end of our viewing session. Harrison Bailey and Jimmy Holliday were taking reps alongside each other as the group worked on handoffs. We will see how long Holliday works with the QB’s.
Jeremy Pruitt was asked about the QB position and reps “The plan right now is to rep 6 guys. If there’s a point in time we feel like somebody eliminates themselves, then obviously we go down whether it’s 5,4,3. We’re gonna continue to work four groups. These guys will get plenty of opportunity”.
Pruitt talked about Jarrett Guarantano and the other QB’s “Jarrett has played a lot of ball, he’s done a lot of good things to win games. JT done some things in USC & UAB games that helped us win some games. Brian showed some promise at times. We’ve got good competition”
Trey Smith started off the session working on some one on one drills with other linemen, This is a big year for the Senior as he looks to be the anchor along with line, that has so much potential. With Wanya Morris not participating, it’s key that these guys get as many reps together as possible, just in case.
At WR, grad transfer Velus Jones Jr. got plenty of reps during the group work, with coach Tee Martin having them go through cut drills. Ramel Keyton will be very pivotal in how the Vols attack the outside during the Fall, along with Josh Palmer.
Cade Mays and Darnell Wright were running with the second group today during drills. It was interesting to see Chris Akporoghene working with the first group at times today, along with Trey Smith, Jerome Carvin and K’Rojhn Calbert. Brandon Kennedy was a late getting on the field, but I did see him come out of the facility.
Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Freshman OL Cooper Mays will be out for Spring practice “Unfortunately Cooper broke his foot this fall, probably played entire the entire year with a stress fracture that got worse as season went. He had a procedure once he got here.He won’t be able to participate in spring”
Jimmy Brumbaugh was all over his DL today, the new coach wasn’t making it easy on his guys. Darel Middleton was a participant during practice today. So was new position coach Brian Niedermeyer, whos was leaning on Henry To’oto’o to continue being a leader of the group, something the Vols lost a lot of from this past season. JJ Peterson was going 3rd or 4th during every rep that I was watching. This is a very big Spring for the LB, as he looks to get onto the field more, especially in a spot Tennessee needs.
Jeremy Pruitt was asked about DL Darel Middleton status, following his recent arrest. Pruitt said it would be handled “Internally”
Baylen Buchanan was practicing today with the DB group, which should be a welcomed sign for many. We will see what the plan is for him, but he was full speed when I was viewing him work against WR’s. Pruitt added about a few players who will be on a strict practice routine
“we’ve got several guys that practices will be modified during spring. Baylen is a guy who’s practice will be modified. Emmit The sane way, he’s probably ready to go, 6 months to me is probably a little to soon. They can develop and grow as player”
Jeremy Pruitt also mentioned that Craig Fitzgerald was a hot commodity around the SEC over the past few weeks “It’s no secret there’s been several jobs that have been open across our league (SEC) in the last couple weeks and Craig was the first guy they called. He decided to stay here”
This was a very big deal for Tennessee. Keeping their S&C coach is very key, as the Vols continue to strive for that success, on and off the field.
Tennessee will hit the practice field again on Thursday, before Spring Break starts next week.