What's next for Jones, Wade?

Mark Jones was Tennessee's premier receiver all last spring, clearly stamping himself as the best bet to be the Vols' go-to guy this fall. In last weekend's opener vs. Fresno State, however, he caught just one pass for 12 yards.

What happened?

A. Fresno's defensive scheme took away Jones
B. Vol QB Casey Clausen found a new target in James Banks.
C. Jones played so much at safety that his receiver work was limited.
D. All of the above.

The answer is D.

Vol head man Phillip Fulmer said Fresno defenders ''took his position away with their coverage,'' adding that the Bulldogs' scheme also limited the effectiveness of UT wideout Derrick Tinsley, who did not record a catch.

As for Banks, a converted quarterback, Fulmer said he ''really improved.... I was as proud of his being line up where he's supposed to be as I was the big plays he made.''

Jones played 30 snaps at receiver and 15 at safety vs. Fresno, seeing almost no action on offense in the second half. Fulmer said Jones' snaps probably will be split ''more even than that'' this week vs. Marshall. That means Jones probably will play a little more on defense and a little less on offense -- say 25 snaps each -- vs. the Thundering Herd.

Jones will play even more on defense this week if strong safety Gibril Wilson's injured ankle limits him.

Like Jones, Jonathan Wade saw action at receiver and also as a DB in the Mustang Package last weekend. Fulmer says he'd like to put Wade at one position and leave him there eventually.

Most likely, Wade's offensive snaps will be phased out in the next few weeks. Tennessee has a glut of receiver candidates but has a depth problem in the secondary that a world-class speedster like Wade (who played exclusively DB in high school) could help alleviate.

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