Well mission accomplished Mr. Hunter. The junior wide receiver reeled in three catches for 70 yards and one touchdown during Saturday's contest.
Hunter was still limited in a red non-contact jersey as opposing defensive players similuated tackles with simple two-hand touch, but Hunter was thrilled to be back in action.
"It felt pretty good," Hunter said of the day. "At the beginning of practice I took some medicine and I didn't feel anything in my knee. Towards the end of practice it felt the same. I think it was a pretty good day for my knee. I know I can go out there without hurting it. Hopefully next week it will feel the same."
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley told the media Friday that he was looking forward to getting Hunter over the mental hump of his ACL injury.
"Actually, I want him to push it a little more, believe it or not," Dooley said Friday. "He has to get past that, `I'm still hurt' mode. We also have to be careful. What you don't want to have happen is he never pulls the pin and it's August. Then, he's still thinking about it. At some point, you have to get over the hump that you're doing well."
One teammate who was happy to have a few more options in the passing game was quarterback Tyler Bray, who finished the day 13 of 23 for 180 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"It helps," Bray said of Hunter's return. "They can't just sit on Da'Rick's side and try and trap him the whole time. They have to play both sides of the field.
"His knee is fine. It is just all confidence and if the training staff will let him do it because he can run and catch just like he used to."
The Vols will return to action Tuesday morning at Haslam Field at 9.
Watch as Hunter reflects on his big return to action:
Junior quarterback Tyler Bray talks following Saturday's scrimmage in Neyland Stadium: