Antwan to help at safety

Eight games into the 2004 season, Tennessee's situation at safety remains unsettled. The Vols already converted one cornerback (Jason Allen) to bolster the position, and now they're looking at converting another.

Antwan Stewart, a first-team corner when he tore an ACL last spring, returned to practice this week on a limited basis. This time he's working at safety due to the Vols' ongoing struggles at that position.

''He can help us this year sometime,'' Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis said. ''He won't play this week (vs. Notre Dame) but we'll see where he is open-date (next week) and how much he's able to get done.

''To be quite honest, we hope he may end up being an answer at safety. That's going to be his focus the remainder of this year. If he can give us a lift there, that would be a big plus for us.

''We felt Antwan had a chance to be an outstanding football player (before the injury) and we think he still will.''

Cory Campbell (free) and Brandon Johnson (strong) started at the safety spots in Game 1 but neither kept his job for long. Campbell lost his spot to Allen in Game 2 and Johnson was suspended from the team for discharging a firearm less than 48 hours after making two interceptions against Ole Miss.

Jarod Parrish got one start but failed to distinguish himself. Cory Larkins moved over from tailback a few weeks ago but is still playing catch-up. Robert Boulware moved over from cornerback last spring but has yet to make an impact.

In short, safety has been a disaster area for the 2004 Vols. That's why even a slender 180-pounder like Stewart is worth a look.

As Chavis put it: ''Right now we're looking for any-sized guy that can tackle somebody.''

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