Frosh steal show

Tennessee's first day in full pads turned into pretty much a daylong scrimmage because, as head coach Phil Fulmer put it: ''Like everyody else, I wanted to see what those quarterbacks would do under fire.''

Suffice to say, he got an eyeful.

The two biggest plays of the day were turned in by freshman fullback David Holbert and freshman quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

Holbert bobbled a short pass over the middle before splitting two defenders and outrunning the safeties on roughly a 50-yard touchdown play. Moments later, the lefthanded Schaeffer was flushed out of the pass pocked while rolling to his right. He juked two defenders with wicked feints, then blew past the remaining defenders on another 50-yard TD junket.

''That was a heck of a run,'' Fulmer said of Schaeffer's scramble. ''He came out of there, made one miss, then got downfield and made a couple more miss. He showed great speed. He's a talented guy.''

Fulmer also praised Erik Ainge, UT's other freshman quarterback. Ainge showed tremendous arm strength and a remarkably quick release in the passing game.

''I thought Erik Ainge did a couple of nice things,'' the head man said. ''Actually, so did C.J. (Leak) and Rick (Clausen). It'll be a great film to study.''

Fulmer already knew what Leak, a senior, and Clausen, a junior, could do. Thus, he was pleasantly surprised by the performances of freshmen Schaeffer and Ainge.

''I was pretty pleased with both of the young ones,'' he said. ''I think we got a good start at looking at what they can do from a physical standpoint. Mentally, they'll just keep getting better.''

Fulmer went on to note that both freshmen ''have good poise and good countenance,'' but both ''need to verbalize better'' so their teammates can hear their calls better.

Bottom line? ''Both of them are really good prospects,'' the head man said.

Reminded of Holbert's big play, Fulmer broke into a big grin.

''I gave him a hard time during recruiting because of a tape at Brentwood Academy where he got run down from behind on a very similar run,'' the head man said. ''He told me it'd never happen again. So far, he's been right. That was a good run. He made a couple of nice moves.''

Fulmer also singled out cornerbacks Jonathan Hefney and Inky Johnson, plus tight end Chris Brown for praise, adding: ''This looks like a really good freshman class.''

In other practice highlights:

• Leak hit Derrick Tinsley with a perfectly thrown 50-yard touchdown strike, but Tinsley slammed into a chain link fence at the end of the run and was off his feet for five minutes. He returned to action, however, and showed no ill effects.

• It was a big day for Vol wideouts. In addition to Tinsley's TD grab, Jayson Swain made a dazzling one-handed catch of a high pass, palming the ball much like Shaquille O'Neal palms a rebound. C.J. Fayton made a nice diving grab of a pass thrown at his shoetops and Robert Meachem made a nifty catch of a deflected pass for a gain of roughly 20 yards.

''Our receivers have really had a good camp, from the beginning,'' Fulmer said. ''You kind of expect big things from 'em. Swain made a one-handed catch. Meachem made a heck of a catch and run. Tinsley's really come on. Chris Hannon's really come on. We don't have the depth we'd like but the quality is certainly there.''

The Vols hold their first two-a-day workouts on Thursday. InsideTennessee.com will have complete coverage of the morning workout posted by roughly 10 a.m.


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