Morley likes WR

Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer recently joked that if secondary coach Larry Slade didn't find a spot for Demetrice Morley in the defensive backfield, the Vols might put Morley at wide receiver in an attempt to get the talented sophomore on the field.

At least, most people ASSUMED Fulmer was joking.

It turns out that Demetrice Morley is no stranger to running pass routes. He ran hundreds of them back at Killian High in Miami.

"I played a lot of receiver in high school," he said recently. "I loved receiver. It was fun."

Asked if he might be interested in seeing some action at wideout this fall, Morley nodded emphatically.

"Almost everybody on the team has a second ability they can play," he said. "If I had to choose (another position) it would be receiver. I think I have the ability to be a receiver. If I'm called on to play, I would give my best, 110 percent. I love receiver."

Morley started at free safety in last Saturday's full-scale scrimmage, bumping Jonathan Hefney to the bench. That doesn't mean Morley has supplanted Hefney, however.

"Coach told us we were going to rotate, and that Demetrice would start this one, to see how he reacted to it," Hefney said. "We switch it up in practice, too, so we can be ready in case somebody goes down."

Morley is also getting some work at strong safety and cornerback – the position he played in high school – as the Vol staff looks for ways to get this gifted 6-2, 195-pounder on the field.

Whether he plays free safety, strong safety or corner, Morley believes he and the other Vol defensive backs are primed for a banner season in 2006.

"We're ready as a group," he said. "We've been working hard. We've got a lot more improvement we can still make. We want to be better than last year. We want to be better every year."

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