The Monday Mailbag

You know the drill. You ask the questions, we answer them, you smile and nod your head.

KK is the best offensive lineman we have (if the open practice meant anything), so why have I not heard his name as the left tackle starter? — Gatorhator

Kyler Kerbyson turned in a great practice Saturday and has quickly become one of, if not the, most valuable offensive linemen on Tennessee's roster. After moving around to three different positions on the line last season, Kerbyson has found consistency in fall camp at the very position you mention. The senior affectionately nicknamed "Grandpa Kerb" by his teammates because he's 22 and engaged (so old, right, guys?) told InsideTennessee he's working exclusively at left tackle in fall camp as the offensive line continues to shuffle around.

"I’ve been lucky enough to play just left tackle this fall, so I’ve been able to hone in my skills on that,” Kerbyson said. “I got lucky with that."

How is Mike DeBord doing? What changes, if any, have you seen in practices from him being the OC? — IzzAns

The first takeaway from watching Mike DeBord is how in shape he is. He runs around practice faster than I could ever dream of and would no doubt beat me in a foot race unless the prize was a pecan pie. When it comes to his scheme, nothing much if anything has changed. DeBord was brought in by Butch Jones to be a model of consistency after the loss of Mike Bajakian, who left to be the quarterbacks coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. DeBord will surely add a few wrinkles to the offense, and Tennessee will line up a lot of the time in one-back sets out the spread as DeBord hinted at when he was hired, but I don't think you'll see any glaring differences from last year to this year — and that's exactly what Butch Jones wants.

What is the current intel on Preston Williams ACT and with the required delay how far behind will this put him as regards getting on the field this season?

Williams retook his ACT last week and he and Tennessee are now playing the waiting game. Williams hasn't been allowed to practice per NCAA rules but has continued to rehab his knee and work out individually while he awaits his new results. You'd have to think he would have been limited in practice had he not been forced to retake the ACT due to his still-healing injury, so while the valuable repetitions he missed certainly are a detriment, a talent of his caliber should be able to recover quicker than most as he awaits his new ACT score.

Can you give us a run down of the various sports science techniques Tennessee employs and how our use of sports science compares to other programs? Thanks. — EastTNTSO

Butch Jones loves him some sports science. Drones fly around during practice. Running backs are viewed through GoPro lenses attached to helmets. He employs sleep coaches to monitor his players' rest and recovery. The whole thing sounds like something out of 1984, but it's this type of innovative thinking Jones wants to be the vanguard for as Tennessee plunges into this ever-changing world. IT sat down with strength and conditioning coach Dave Lawson to find out who the sports and science department consists of and what their purpose is:

"We have a sports and science department that consists of strength and conditioning, athlete training, sports nutrition, academics. It's all the different areas that touch the athletes on a day-to-day basis," Lawson said.

The department meets every week and goes over every single player in the program to evaluate their performance through various technologies, including virtual reality, sleep monitoring phone apps to help players receive more rest, goggles to cut blue light from cell phones and computers and nutrition training.

"I think it's a team effort from everyone on our sports science staff and our coaching staff working within coach Jones' system, giving him what he wants," Lawson said. "We're all on the same page and we're meeting individually with he players and that's where you get those results."

Do you expect Marquez North to be a full go for the opener or do you think we may have to wait for the OU game to see him on the field? — cctVol

North, who suffered a knee sprain last week in practice, was in full pads and walking around Saturday but did not participate in drills or scrimmage situations. Butch Jones said he expects North back in practice very soon and I wouldn't count out the idea of him playing in the Bowling Green game at all.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a question. If we weren't able to get to yours this week, it will be answered in the next addition. To send in a question, email, tweet @CoryGunkel, post in the InsideTennessee message boards or yell really loudly.

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