It appears each football player, with the exception of maybe one, passed their exams and is in good academic standing and will play in the Dec. 29th bowl game against Kentucky.
"Vickery Hall is a really good support system and all
I try to do is support them in graduation," Tigers
head coach Tommy Bowden said. "We do talk about it a
whole bunch and it is talked about on this field a
whole bunch. It's important to their family and it
should be important to the commitment they have made
to their moms and dads or whoever raised them. We make
it a high priority.
"We have a great support system in place, but I think
we both support each other."
Not only that, but 10 players will graduate Thursday,
including defensive end Gaines Adams, cornerback Duane
Coleman, offensive linemen Roman Fry and Dustin Fry,
tight end Thomas Hunter, linebacker Anthony Waters,
quarterback Will Proctor and running back Reggie
"They all come from so many different backgrounds and
that's the amazing things to see," Bowden said. "The
guy I like to bring up is Duane Coleman, because the
first meeting I had with him and the seniors you know
when I talk to all players one-on-one, that was not on
the radar screen. I don't think it was for him or
really anyone in his family, but now I think his mom
is driving up.
"Here is a guy like that, who is graduating in four
and half years, to me, is a pretty good story. Neither
one of us anticipated him graduating. I was hoping and
we had a plan for him and we surely weren't going to
discourage him, but that would be one that if you were
betting four and half years ago that he is one we all
would have bet against probably."
However, as much as Bowden enjoys seeing his players
do well in the classroom and knows that it casts the
university in a positive light, he thinks those in
charge can sometimes be hypocritical.
"It's important," Bowden said. "But as I have
mentioned this year with someone, they fired 20
(coaches) and graduation rate wasn't mentioned not one
time. With that being said, it is important to me, but
it is a non-factor on retaining coaches."
Wide receiver Rendrick Taylor, who participated in a
full practice Tuesday for the first time since
breaking his arm in October, was sore in practice on
"He has done good," Bowden said. "We did not hit much
today, but we surely bounced around and did some
catching and stuff like that.
"He was sore. I talked to him a little bit this
morning and he said he was a little sore, but nothing
that would hold him out. He is a pretty tough guy."
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