Hannon's a hit ... finally

The first time I saw Chris Hannon run a pass route for the Tennessee Vols, I thought I was watching a clone of Minnesota Vikings' star Randy Moss. Like Moss, Hannon is tall (6-4), lean (190 pounds), fast (4.4 in the 40) and agile.

Since Hannon played quarterback in high school, he obviously would need some time to adapt to his new outpost. Still, I figured it would only be a matter of time before he began to assert himself as a college receiver.

That time arrived in Saturday night's game at Auburn. Hannon caught five passes for 95 yards -- all in the final quarter -- as the Vols rallied from a 28-7 deficit to come within a whisker of sending the game into overtime. Hannon made one of his grabs at the Auburn 8-yard line, juked a defender out of his socks and ran by him for Tennessee's final touchdown in the 28-21 loss.

From all appearances, Saturday night was Chris Hannon's coming-out party. And, with high-scoring Georgia visiting this weekend, it couldn't come at a better time.

''Chris is one of those guys like (freshman offensive tackle Arron) Sears that you see really coming on in practice,'' Vol head man Phillip Fulmer said.

Hannon showed more than skills Saturday night, though. He showed mental toughness. After dropping a third-and-10 pass on Tennessee's final drive, he ran the same route on fourth-and-15 and this time made the catch for a 21-yard gain.

''It was good to see Casey (Clausen) coming right back to him after the drop with another crossing route,'' Fulmer said.

And, for Vol fans everywhere, it was good to see Hannon make a clutch catch. If he continues to blossom, he'll combine with Mark Jones, James Banks, Tony Brown and Jayson Swain to give Tennessee's passing game five quality targets.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories