Friday Practice Report

The Vols wrapped up their first week of practice on Haslam Field Friday afternoon. However, Saturday will reveal who means business when the team works out in full pads.

"It's important to find out who can play under the pressure of full contact," said head coach Phillip Fulmer.

Two players who will not be on the field when full contact drills commence are wide receiver Derrick Tinsley and defensive tackle Justin Harrell. Tinsley's sprained ankle will keep him out of action for about a week. The news is much worse for Harrell who underwent surgery on Friday to repair a small fracture in his foot.

"It's really unfortunate for him and us," Fulmer said. "He's had some tough luck. We've got a lot more to look forward to then to sit and worry about an injury."

Harrell is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

According to Fulmer, with Harrell being out of the line-up, J.T Mapu and Cory Anderson should move inside from defensive end and see more time at defensive tackle.

On the other side of the line, Fulmer remains "optimistic" about offensive lineman Anthony Herrera's chances of being eligible to play this year. It should be another day or two before anything is certain. Herrera practiced with the squad for the first time this season on Friday.

Another player making some serious waves on the offensive line is freshman Arron Sears.

"He's really impressed me as far as football goes," said sophomore offensive lineman Cody Douglas. "He's also a great guy. I like being around him."

The compliments are being heard from some of the players competing against Sears on defense, too. Sophomore defensive end Parys Haralson was quick to praise Sears after practice on Friday.

"Sears is going to be a great player here," Haralson said. "He's quick and he's got good feet."

Many were saying the same thing about Haralson last year when he was a highly touted freshman. However, an extra year of experience has added plenty to his arsenal.

"I feel a lot more comfortable out here," Haralson said. "I've learned a lot more. As of right now, I'm just practicing harder to get better each and every day."

Douglas seems to echo some of what Haralson mentioned.

"This year I'm competing for a starting job," said Douglas. "I've got a whole new mentality. I've got a better grasp of what I'm doing out there. I'm just ready to go out there and prove myself that I'm one of the best on the offensive line."

Douglas is able to play both offensive tackle and guard. Although he feels more comfortable at tackle, he's learning to be more physical at the guard slot.

James Banks continues to alternate between wide receiver and quarterback. The sophomore lined up as one of the signal callers on Friday.

According to quarterback turned receiver C.J. Fayton, Banks is taking everything in stride.

"I think he's having fun with it," said Fayton. "I think he just wants to get on the field, make plays, show his ability, and show what he can do."

As for Fayton, he won't lobby to have his name thrown into the mix at quarterback. He feels comfortable battling for a slot at wide receiver.

"We've got a lot of people out here who can make big plays, including myself," said Fayton. "With the experience we added last year, it's just a matter of time for me or anybody to step up and be called a deep threat."

One of those deep threats could be safety turned wide out Mark Jones. With the exception of the quarterbacks, Jones was the Vol to don the green 'no contact' jersey at practice on Friday.

"I put him in a green shirt because I don't want anybody hitting him," said Fulmer.

Fulmer is clearly not tempting the same fate that cost him several big-time players throughout last season.

Saturday marks what should be an eventful day of football. Media Day begins at 9 o'clock with coach Fulmer's press conference. Players and coaches will also be available to the press until noon. Tennessee's first day in full pads will begin at 4. The Tennessee drill will be a big part of Saturday's work-out as the coaching staff tries to figure out who is contending and who is pretending.

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