Additional Practice News & Notes

Several Tigers missed various parts of practice Tuesday with minor injuries. An injury update, as well as an additional look at what took place on the practice fields on Tuesday are contained in this report.

* It looks as though Cole Chason has made the adjustment from kicking off the ground. Chason has good distance on his kicks Tuesday, but he still doesn't hit the ball high enough to clear a fierce rush. In his first live action, Chason drilled a field goal from about 37 yards out. Hunt also made his kick from the same distance.

* Wynn Kopp showed some pop on several of his punts Tuesday morning. The former Georgia transfer nailed several long kicks in his first action in full pads. He also dropped a snap against a live rush deep in his own endzone before recovering to get the ball away. Airese Currie, Kyle Browning, and Derrick Hamilton all took turns as punt returners.

* Altroy Bodrick missed Tuesday with a dislocated nose. The injury is not expected to keep him out of action much longer. Dustin Fry also remained out of action on Tuesday. "The swelling is going down," said Dustin's mother, Tanya Fry late Tuesday afternoon. "He said he could actually see the outline of his knee cap. I haven't heard a report today, but I imagine he'll be in the yellow jersey for a few more days with his actual hitting limited."

Nathan Gillespie and Kevin Youngblood also missed Tuesday with minor injuries. Youngblood is expected back on Thursday. Linebacker David Dunham was carted off the field after taking a substantial hit, and Todd McClinton pulled his hamstring and missed the afternoon practice session.

* No surprise that someone has moved ahead of Kevin Johnson through the first practice in full pads. "Toure Francis has pulled ahead of Kevin Johnson," said Tommy Bowden. "It just looks like overall he has the complete package. His overall performance is better than Kevin Johnson at this point." Francis, orginally a walk on out of Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, recorded 37 tackles and 2 interceptions last season. Johnson could be the odd man out in the secondary this season, especially with the arrival of Justin Miller and Buddy Williams.

* One of the more interesting aspects of practice today centers around the vocal leaders of the team. Brian Mance, Nick Eason, and John Leake appear to be three of the early leaders of the 2002 season. All three players seemed extremely comfortable out there for the first day in full pads, yet all three also seemed extremely focused. To say that John Leake is a physical specimen would be an understatment; his work in the weight room has clearly paid off. Eason also appears ready to rebound from an injury riddled season last year. Top Stories