Teague 'confident' in all aspects

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — As a true freshman at the University of Tennessee, Marsalis Teague got off to a hot start, catching six balls for 86 yards and a touchdown in the 2009 season opener with Western Kentucky.

Since that point Teague just hasn't shown up on the stats sheet nearly as much. Following Lane Kiffin's departure as the head coach in Knoxville, Teague made the switch to cornerback and has been everything but consistent.

However, this fall the senior defender has undergone a resurgence, both in playing time and with confidence.

"He is at a good place with himself," defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley told InsideTennessee. "He feels good about his body, he feels good about what he is doing and he feels confident with what he is doing.

"Any time you get a kid who is confident in what he is doing he is going to go out there and perform at a high level. We just want to make sure he is doing that consistently week in and week out."

Teague, who finished the 2011 season with 27 tackles, two passes broken up and one tackle for loss in eight starts, says the move from wide receiver to corner was tough at first, but has turned out nicely.

"Initially I was kind of skeptical at first, but at the end of the day I just said what is best for the team," the Paris, Tenn., native said. "I kind of sat down with the coaches about that. It wasn't a demand that I do that our anything. He simply asked me and said it would be the best for the team if I could and I was all for it."

After playing quarterback for Henry County (Tenn.) High School, Teague is still making an adjustment to having a few less touches on Saturday's.

"To me I felt like I came in as an athlete so it didn't really matter to me what side of the ball I was playing," Teague said. "Playing quarterback in high school it made me mad a little bit because I was so used to having the ball so much. Now I just try and flip the switch and take that defensive mentality and just go play football."

With a scrimmage scheduled for Friday evening in Neyland Stadium, the former FOX Sports NEXT four-star prospect says consistency will be key in nailing down a spot in the rotation heading into the season opener with North Carolina State on Aug. 31 in the Georgia Dome.

"Just consistency really," Teague said of what his coaches were looking for. "That is really the main thing they look for is just consistency. Doing it day-in and day-out, not just sometimes. Consistency is the main thing."

Teague led all Tennessee defenders in the first scrimmage of training camp with four passes broken up and added six tackles.

Watch comments from Tennessee sophomore safety Brian Randolph, who has been a staple in the defensive backfield:

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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