Tuesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer met the media on Tuesday to discuss where his team stands heading into its season opener against UNLV. Most everything seems to be sliding into place. Fulmer cleared up some questions regarding who would be starting where. However, at least one of his answers caught an assistant coach a little off guard.

The most surprising piece of news to come out of Tuesday's media availability was that Fulmer named Cedric Houston as the team's starting tailback.

For the duration of the pre-season, running backs coach Trooper Taylor made no secret of the fact Corey Larkins and Gerald Riggs were the players to beat out in the backfield.

Fulmer's decision to go with Houston over Larkins and Riggs surprised Taylor when a member of the media notified him of Fulmer's decision.

"He's the boss," Taylor said of Fulmer.

Needless to say, it was an awkward moment.

In other news, Roshaun Fellows will be the starter opposite Jason Allen at cornerback on Sunday night. Fellows beat out Jon Wade and Jon Hefney for the spot.

Defensive backs coach Larry Slade said the decision was based on Fellows consistency. He went on to remark that all three players possessed virtually the same ability.

Who will be the starting quarterback is still up in the air, though.

Fulmer did name true freshmen Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge "co-starter's", but refused to name a starter.

Fulmer went on to say that both Ainge and Schaeffer would definitely play.

The quarterbacks will be taking their signals from Randy Sanders on the field of play, too. Fulmer said both Sanders and defensive coordinator John Chavis would remain on the sidelines. Although Fulmer never called plays from the sidelines when he was a coordinator, he said he feels good about Sanders placement. He mentioned it gives him (Sanders) a chance to look the quarterbacks in the eye and get a sense for what they are feeling. Greg Adkins, Pat Washington, Steve Caldwell, and some graduate assistants will be up in the press box.

Finally, Jomo Fagan looks like he could be practicing again soon. The walking boot he was wearing a couple of weeks ago is off and he was spotted on the practice field working in a limited capacity on Tuesday.

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