Maestro Clausen?

Quarterback <!--Default NodeId For Casey Clausen is 669101,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:669101]>Casey Clausen</A>, who conducted the UT Pride of the Southland band in a rousing rendition of ''Rocky Top'' to punctuate an upset win at <!--Default NodeId For Florida is 570,2003--><A HREF=http://florida.TheInsiders.com>Florida</A> two seasons ago, was at it again Monday morning ... this time to puncutate the end of two-a-day drills.

Band director Dr. Gary Sousa recently telephoned Vol head man Phillip Fulmer and asked if he could do anything to help. Fulmer suggested marching the band onto the Lower Hudson Field practice area at around 8:30 to ''liven practice up.''

The band -- complete with majorettes -- showed up on cue, then Fulmer convinced Clausen to stop flinging passes long enough to conduct one chorus of the team's theme song. Clearly uncomfortable in the beginning, Clausen seemed unsure what to do with his hands -- waving weakly at first, then covering his heart (hey, Rocky Top is UT's anthem, right?), clapping and then waving with a little more vigor.

When it was over, though, Tennessee's senior quarterback thought the band's visit served its purpose.

''It was good, it was fun,'' he said. ''It (the season opener) is almost here. It's getting close. This being the last day of two-a-days, it kind of summed it up with the band coming out and playing for us. You kind of get chills a little bit, get hyped up.''

Fulmer, who added a light touch to practice last week by running a pass route and catching a pass in a two-point conversion drill, thought the band's performance was equally successful in breaking the monotony of practice.

''I think it got the juices going a little bit,'' he said. ''That's all it was about.''


Inside Tennessee Top Stories