No love lost between UT kickers

Don't look for Vol place-kickers Phillip Newman and James Wilhoit to be roommates anytime soon.

Newman, a transfer from Georgia Tech who handled most of Tennessee's kickoff chores last season, is battling to win the field goal and PAT chores for 2003. His chief rival is Wilhoit, who redshirted last fall. Their competition is clean but hardly cordial.

''I'm not really one to shy away from competition,'' Newman said. ''Nor am I somebody who is gonna sit and be buddy-buddy with someone I am competing against. I know what I want, I know what lies ahead of me and I know there is an opportunity there for me. So I am going to be doing everything in my power to make sure that (the kicking job) is going to be coming to me.''

Newman says he is lifting weights to boost his leg strength.

''I have been trying to get a lot explosive work,'' he said. ''As far as mechanics goes, I am going to just go out and kick shorter kicks so I won't injure myself and be able to make myself better mentally. I do a lot of light kicking ... around 20-25 yards probably.''

This summer, Newman says he plans to do an intership with former Vol Tim Irwin, now a successful sports agent.

''I would like to be an agent someday, so I am going to dabble in that over the summer,'' Newman said. ''The internship is a 9-to-5 deal so that when I am finished in the afternoons, I will be busy making up (for lost time) in the weight room and out on the field just getting some kicks in. Its going to be difficult to get everything done, but I am not a lazy person. I didn't work myself to this point for four-and-a-half years to throw it away in one summer.''


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