Wednesday Practice Report

As Tennessee prepares to hit the road for the first time this season, some new challenges await the team. The Florida game is still ten days away. However, it's never to early to start trying to figure out just who will make the 70 player traveling roster when you're the man making the decision.

Head Coach Phillip Fulmer didn't mince any words when he alluded to the fact that whoever is in Gainesville had better be ready for action.

"If they're going to go they're going to play," Fulmer said. In a perfect world, Fulmer would like to have the luxury of playing plenty of guys across the defensive line.

"We need to be able to play six defensive ends and six defensive tackles if we can," said Fulmer.

Two of the Vols top defensive tackles missed Wednesday's work-out with injuries. Mondre Dickerson roamed the sidelines with a sprained ankle. Greg Jones was out of action, too.

In their absence, some young up and comers had a chance to see more snaps. One of those players is sophomore LaRon Harris. Harris, who just regained his eligibility a couple of weeks ago, is trying to fight his way into the rotation.

"He's plenty capable," Fulmer said. "He's young, he's immature, in some ways a big baby. He's got potential. He's trying to grow up."

On the other hand, true freshman Tony McDaniel should see more action in the Florida game after grading out well against Marshall.

Fulmer mentioned that McDaniel didn't play nearly enough versus the Thundering Herd.

In the secondary, Fulmer seems to be happy with the challenges Fresno St. and Marshall have presented for the Vols in their first two games.

"I think it was good we got tested in the last ballgame," said Fulmer. "We know a lot more. I really have a lot of confidence in Rashad (Baker) and Gibril (Wilson). Our corners just have to be more consistent."

Jonathan Wade is still the lone player that remains questionable for the game against the Gators. If he is not ready to play, Fulmer said junior college transfer Brandon Johnson could step into the mix at cornerback in Tennessee's six defensive back Mustang Package.

Offensively, Fulmer continues to be impressed with the progress of sophomore Cody Douglas.

"Cody is going to start at right guard," said Fulmer. "Cody's done really well."

Douglas steps into the starting line-up in place of senior Chavis Smith. However, Douglas and Smith should get approximately the same amount of snaps they saw in games one and two.

On the injury front, Tennessee was still without Gerald Riggs, James Banks, and Tony Brown at practice on Wednesday. Bill Grimes was also shaken up during drills. Fulmer expects them to be ready for next week though.

"If we were playing a game we probably wouldn't be limping so much," said Fulmer.

Tennessee wraps up its week of practice on Thursday.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories