Friday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE -The Vols won't be at full strength when they hit the field tomorrow for their third scrimmage of the pre-season. However, head coach Phillip Fulmer thinks he got a good enough look at his team on Wednesday to know where they stand.

There are still questions to be answered in the secondary where only one thing is for sure: Jason Allen will start at either cornerback or safety. Other than that, there are plenty of things up in the air. Roshaun Fellows continued to get work with the first string at one cornerback slot on Friday. Fellows is trying to hold off Jon Wade, Jon Hefney, and Antonio Gaines for the starting job.

"The defensive backs are led by Jason Allen," Fulmer said. "We've got some work to do to find our other starters."

C.J. Leak is also trying to find a place to call home in the secondary. Leak took off the green no-contact jersey in favor of a white defensive uniform. He got extensive work in with the safeties.

Fulmer expects Leak to see some snaps in the defensive backfield during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I‚m going to give it all I got," Leak said. " played one game at safety in high school and I think I made eleven tackles just running around."

Up front on defense, Fulmer said Ell Ash and LaRon Harris will get plenty of looks at tackle. Fulmer feels confident in what Justin Harrell, Tony McDaniel, and Jesse Mahelona have shown him thus far.

For the most part, Saturday‚s scrimmage will be a depth building exercise.

Several nagging injuries have sidelined some projected starters, too. Robert Meacham tweaked a knee on Thursday and didn‚t practice on Friday. Albert Toeaina didn't work out because of a slight knee injury. Cory Anderson and Brad Cottam both had on green jerseys. Cottam was spotted running routes on the field. Anderson didn't make it off the sidelines. Karlton Neal didn't participate either. Don't look for many of the above to see much action tomorrow.

„If anyobody's banged up, they're probably not going to go (in the scrimmage)," Fulmer said.

Victor McClure, Robert Ayers, and Marvin Mitchell also missed practice due to injury. Mitchell is expected to have one more surgery on his knee and will miss the majority of the season.


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