One of the main story lines this fall at the University of Tennessee has been how young and youthful this football team actually is.
No unit has seen more true freshmen than the Vols offensive line. With three true freshmen seeing starting action, we have often overlooked one experienced player.
Senior Jarrod Shaw has earned the respect from his head coach and offensive coordinator, that was obvious when Derek Dooley and Jim Chaney addressed the media after Wednesday's practice.
"Shaw Dog has been very valuable to this team," Coach Dooley said. "He has been our go to guy. He can play several positions, it would have been a rough season without him."
Coach Chaney agreed with his head coach.
"I sure wouldn't wanted to play without him," Chaney said. "I don't know if we will have a MVP, but he would definitely get my vote."
Dooley also made a case for Shaw earning post season honors.
"He has played a MVP type season," Dooley said. "His knowledge of all the positions, we have moved him around more than anyone and he always comes through for us."
True freshman Zach Fulton missed last weeks game with an injury, Dooley is hoping to get him back in the near future.
"He is still not a 100 percent," Dooley said. "We have kept him in a red no contact jersey, hopefully we can get him back soon."
After back to back 50 point games, the Vols offense has clicked under the direction of true freshman quarterback Tyler Bray.
"Tyler keeps working hard," Tennessee quarterback Darin Hinshaw said. "He is getting better each week and is growing as a quarterback every practice."
Tennessee, who has won its last two games in a roll, must win their final two contest to break even for the year.
The Vols concluded Wednesday's practice and will wrap up preparations for the Vanderbilt Commodores Thursday in a closed practice.
Tennessee will travel to Nashville to take on Vandy in a 7:30 eastern time contest.