Frosh WRs open some eyes

Heralded freshman receivers Jayson Swain, Robert Meachem and Bill Grimes already are turning some heads on The Hill ... including senior safety Gibril Wilson's. Wilson has seen enough during some voluntary passing drills to know that the first-year wideouts are going to help a lot.

''Oh, man, the receivers are going to be awesome!'' he said. ''This is a special group. Swain, Meachum, Bill Grimes are definitely what we need. Meachem's speed, Swain's physicalness ... they all bring something different to the game.

''I think we're going to have a tremendous corps. We all know what we have here, and we have a special group. They know they have to get the job done.''

Tennessee can't pin its hopes for an improved passing game on three freshmen, however. The Vols must get bigger contributions from their returning wideouts, as well. Asked if the veteran pass-catchers are looking good, Wilson nodded.

''Oh, yeah,'' he said. ''They're catching the ball, running the routes, communication with Casey (Clausen). They're all definitely on the same page. Last year there was confusion at times. This year nobody knows who the go-to guy is, so they're all expecting the ball at any time.''

Wilson came to the Vols from junior college a year ago, survived a rocky start and eventually won a starting job. So, heading into his senior season he's regarded as one of the top strong safeties in the Southeastern Conference.

''My confidence is very high,'' he said. ''I've got one year in the system and I feel great. Me and (free safety) Rashad Baker are on the same page. With me and him being exactly the same type of player, we push each other every day. We work out together and do drills together to become the best two safeties.''

Whereas the Vols are strong at safety, they are a bit shaky at cornerback. With Julian Battle and Willie Miles out of eligibility, Jabari Greer is the only experienced corner. That's OK, Wilson says.

''Jabari's the most confident person I know,'' he said. ''He's going to do whatever it takes. This year he's more focused. He knows this is his last year, and he's excited to get the old Jabari back out there.''

So, what's the overall outlook for Tennessee's secondary?

''I believe this can be a special group,'' Wilson said.


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