Tuesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE - The Vols got back to work in shorts and shoulder pads on Tuesday afternoon. For the first time in a while, the defense seems to have almost all of its parts in place for this weekend's game at Vanderbilt. Jesse Mahelona didn't practice on Monday because of an illness. However, the JUCO transfer was right in the middle of the action on Tuesday.

Roshaun Fellows was the only projected starter who did not work out on the defensive side of the football.

Jason Respert was at practice, but not in pads. He sat out all of last week with a sprained ankle before getting some work in yesterday. His status for Saturday's game is probable.

Dustin Colquitt did not punt the football either. He's been battling some nagging injuries of late which may explain is absence. John Henderson, a holder on special teams, is Colquitt's back-up.

Jon Wade and Jon Hefney look to be the top two options in the Vols punt return game.

Derrick Tinsley, the team's top punt returner is out with a fractured leg.

In the receiving corps, Robert Meachem is still in a green no-contact jersey and Bill Grimes did not practice.

Robert Boulware will get his second consecutive start at strong safety. Better late than never is the phrase defensive coordinator John Chavis is using when it comes to Boulware's arrival.

"The reason it took so long for him to be the guy was because he was a corner," Chavis said. "As a matter of fact, I think we opened it up to the university. Anybody that thought they could start at safety could come out and give it a try." "We kept going through our options and we moved Boulware there early in the summer and we felt like he was far enough along and worked hard enough in practice that he deserved an opportunity. We gave him that opportunity and he made the most of it."

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