Wednesday Practice Report

Phillip Fulmer continued to be optimistic about his football team following Wednesday's practice. Whether it's offense, defense, special teams, or the injury situation, Fulmer was very positive about the direction that his team is traveling.

Dustin Colquitt, the Vols punter, was named a Ray Guy semi-finalist. That award goes to the nation's best kicker or punter.

"I don't know of anybody in the country at the kicking position or punting position that's impacted their team more than Dustin has," said Fulmer. "I don't have a vote, but if I did I'd vote him the top punter in America."

Defensively, Fulmer had some glowing remarks reserved for cornerback Jason Allen. Although he wasn't a projected starter at the beginning of the season, Allen has emerged as one fo the team's best defensive backs this year.

"He's got really good speed," said Fulmer. "Physically, he gets his hands on a receiver pretty well and makes it pretty tough for them to get away from him. He's done much better at corner than any of us thought. I think he's going to be a really great football player before it's all said and done. He's got a chance to be one of those All-Conference, All-America type football players if he continues to work with the attitude he's got."

At the safety position, Fulmer noted that it's always an interesting situation with the amount of youth the Vols have had to use.

Corey Campbell, a true freshman, has started the last two games at free safety.

"It's a thrill a minute, but he's getting better all the time," Fulmer said. "Our safety position has a lot of adjustments the corners don't have to make. But there are fewer thrills every day."

As for the regular starter at free safety, Rashad Baker, Fulmer said he likes the improvement the senior is making as he tries to return from an injured knee.

"I still list him as questionable but he got more today than I thought he might," Fulmer said. "He might be ready to get some snaps."

Bret Smith is looking better, too. The freshman receiver has been out of action for the last month with an injured thumb.

"Bret Smith was back out here and got some work," said Fulmer. "That's encouraging. He could play."

Finally, C.J. Leak's father, Curtis, watched practice from the sidelines on Wednesday.


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