Arnett reflects on UT-Oregon game

The interested observers at Saturday night's Tennessee-Oregon football game included one of America's premier wide receiver prospects.

DeAnthony Arnett, a 4-star recruit from Saginaw, Mich., paid an unofficial visit to Knoxville to check out the Vols-Ducks game. Although Oregon rallied from a 13-13 halftime tie to win 48-13, he enjoyed the experience.

"It was a good game," he told InsideTennessee by phone. "You'd expect a team like Oregon to explode eventually. Tennessee came out and played hard for 30 minutes, but didn't continue it in second half. You'd expect that with a young team."

Arnett shapes up as a critical recruit for Tennessee. The Vols lose two senior receivers off this year's team - Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore. The only scholarship wideouts who will be back for 2011 are sophomore Zach Rogers, plus freshmen Justin Hunter, Da' Rick Rogers and Matt Milton.

"That's very intriguing," Arnett conceded. "But when I look at a school I don't worry about who the other receivers are. I feel I can come in and compete with whoever. I'm looking more at the quarterback."

Tennessee's quarterback, junior Matt Simms, had an up-and-down performance vs. Oregon. He completed 15 of 29 passes for 151 yards but threw an interception that the Ducks returned for a touchdown.

"He did OK," Arnett said. "He made a couple of good plays, a couple of bad plays. He's a new starter coming from junior college, and it's a different type of speed. Overall, I thought he did OK."

Asked for his thoughts on Tennessee's offense, Arnett replied: "Obviously, I saw Justin and Da'Rick. I think they could've trusted them a little bit more, thrown a few more balls their way. The offensive line is young but the running back, (Tauren) Poole, looked awesome."

Asked if he considers any school his leader at this point, Arnett replied, "No, I wouldn't say that."

Arnett's Saginaw team, like the Vols, is brutally young. He's the only starter back on offense and the only starter back on defense. Thus, 20 of the 22 positions are manned by newcomers.

"We're a very young team ... 20 new starters," he said. "I'm the only guy that started on either side of the ball last year."

Even with such a green supporting cast, however, Arnett is putting up good numbers this fall.

"My last game I had seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown," he said. "I had 237 all-purpose yards, counting kickoff returns."

What about punt returns?

"They don't punt the ball to me," he said with a laugh.

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