Long, long way to go.
The Southeastern Conference is no place for boys. With over a third of the Tennessee roster experiencing its first training camp on Rocky Top, it's a vital time for the Volunteers.
Second-year coach Butch Jones said his Vols were "not up to our standard" in terms of expectations. However, that's typical for a first day out.
As workouts get underway, a focus is on the offensive line that replaces all five starters from 2013.
"I like the fact that people don't think we're going to be all right," redshirt junior guard Kyler Kerbyson said. "They think we're going to be the weaker spot. It motivates me every day. It keeps me going. I think we're more experienced that people think we are.
"I actually got snaps in every game last year."
Defensive backs participating in their first practice ever for the Orange & White were Elliot Berry, Evan Berry, RaShaan Gaulden, Todd Kelly Jr. and Cortez McDowell. Three of those five were Scout four-star prospects and provided a boost in Tennessee finishing with Scout's No. 4-ranked recruiting class for 2014.
"They definitely bring juice to the secondary," said redshirt junior Brian Randolph, who is back after offseason shoulder surgery. "They're very fast. They're explosive. They're quick out of their cuts. We just have to get them caught up on the playbook, and they'll be fine."
Although one member of the unit is missing in Charles Mosley (broken leg), the defensive line has its fair share of brand new Vols as well. Jashon Robertson and Michael Sawyers were late additions to the '14 class and both worked at tackle Friday. Derek Barnett, Joseph Henderson and Dewayne Hendrix all saw time with the defensive ends.
Jones says the team has no choice but to play first-year Vols up front. Thus, training camp is paramount in the youthful group's progress.
"Defensive line, that's the head of the defense," redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Dany O'Brien said. "We're the ones that set the tempo of the defense and defense wins championships. We have to bring it every day. We can't have any bad days. We really just have to get after it every single day."
The Vols gather for a meeting on Saturday morning at 7:30 with a workout scheduled for 4 p.m.
Find out more from several Vols about camp by watching the InsideTennessee videos below:
A.J. Johnson video interview
Marlin Lane video interview
Jalen Reeves-Maybin video interview
Corey Vereen video interview
Butch Jones, per the university
Discuss Vols' reactions to the onset of camp with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by clicking here.