Schaeffer meets the press

He's left-handed. He's African-American. He's a quarterback. He's got a strong arm and quick feet. His name isn't Michael Vick, but it might as well be.

Vol freshman Brent Schaeffer has been compared so many times by so many people to the Atlanta Falcons' star quarterback that he has been nicknamed ''Little Vick.''

Saturday morning, as he met with media who cover University of Tennessee football for the first time, Schaeffer admitted that the comparisons are quite flattering.

''Being compared to Michael Vick is a great honor because he's such a great player,'' he said. ''I like it.''

Schaeffer admitted that his style is similar to Vick's but that he isn't as inclined to tuck the ball and scramble.

''I think I can stay in the pocket a little longer and pass,'' he said.

Although Schaeffer is known for his 4.5 speed, his accuracy as a passer is even more imposing. He completed 74 percent of his throws as a senior at Deerfield Beach, Fla., last fall.

practice throwing all the time,'' he said. ''I threw down the field, crossing patterns, corners and posts. I just throw all the time. That's how you get accurate.''

After throwing this summer with Tennessee's talented wideout corps, Schaeffer figures the Vols are loaded at the position.

''We've got great athletes and great receivers,'' he said. ''They're the best receivers I've ever seen in my life.''

In his first two months on campus, Schaeffer has been amazed by how friendly and cooperative his teammates have been.

''All the guys have really been helpful, more helpful than I thought they would be,'' he said. ''They've made me feel welcome.''

Asked what he must do to catch the eye of UT's coaches, Schaeffer paused thoughtfully, then replied:

''Just compete very hard,'' he said, ''and limit my mistakes.''

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