Saturday Practice Report

It was hard to ignore the improvement of Tennessee's players during Saturday's practice. Flashes of things to come were taking place all over the field. A crisp passing game involvIng quarterbacks and receivers seemed to be on the up and up. Bone crushing hits handed out by the defense were also being heard and felt. An upbeat Phillip Fulmer displayed some restrained excitement following the two-and-a-half hour full contact work-out.

"I continue to like the attitude of this football team," said Fulmer. "It looked like we threw the ball exceptionally well in the passing drills. When it was time to do the physical part, the kids had a lot of enthusiasm."

The physical part that Fulmer alluded to was the vaunted Tennessee drill. The drill pits an offensive player against a defensive player in an all out battle for 'tough guy' supremacy.

"The whole team is watching," Fulmer said. "It's a chance for a player to come out of his shell. There's no place to hide."

Although many players gained the respect of teammates during the drill, Fulmer praised several freshman for their effort. The list includes, but certainly is not limited to offensive lineman Arron Sears, tight end Brad Cottam, and defensive linemen Turk McBride and Tony McDaniel.

Freshmen receivers, Jayson Swain, Robert Meacham, and Bret Smith showed tremendous ability during 7 on 7 contests, too. Another receiver who could make an instant impact is sophomore James Banks. Banks made several athletic grabs once again on Saturday.

"He's got a knack out there," Fulmer said. "I'm hopeful he'll improve and be able to help us."

On the academic front, as of Saturday morning, there was still no word on whether or not offensive lineman Anthony Herrera would be eligible. Herrera is still waiting on results from summer school that could give him an extra year to play. Herrera practiced with the first team at left guard.

Tony McDaniel's status is still up in the air, too. However, Fulmer said he would know before the first game of the season if McDaniel would be a full qualifier. The freshman could lend a much needed hand at an already thin defensive tackle position.

The Vols welcomed a highly regarded recruit to practice on Saturday, as well. Brian Brohm, a quarterback, took in the day's events from the sidelines.

The team has a day off from practice on Sunday. Two-a-days begin on Monday morning.

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