Fulmer scores in practice

His body needed a little toning and his speed left a lot to be desired. So did his mobility. But Tennessee's newest tight end candidate still made a crowd-pleasing catch at the end of Wednesday morning's practice that had observers buzzing.

It's too bad the newcomer is out of eligibility.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer decided to end the Vols' workout on a light-hearted note, so he lined up and ran a pass route in a two-point conversion drill. The head man lumbered into the end zone, made a relatively precise cut and found an open spot.

Grad assistant Shane Beamer, doing his best Casey Clausen impersonation at quarterback, tossed a strike to Fulmer. Showing soft hands and superior concentration, the head man gathered in the throw. He then celebrated by spiking the ball ... much to the amusement of players, coaches and practice observers. Even the victimized defensive back seemed amused.

''He had me covered,'' Fulmer conceded. ''I had to push off a little bit. He was surprised by my speed and athletic ability a little bit.''

The head man went on to note that the celebratory spike (which earns a 15-yard penalty if done in a game) was ''a bad example ... but we needed a little enthusiasm to finish practice.''

Fulmer's scoring reception puts him one up on first-team tight end Victor McClure and backups Justin Reed, Jake Finlayson and Brad Cottam.

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