Sanders' top concerns

Last year it was finding a quarterback. The year before it was locating a big-play receiver. So, what's the top item on Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders' to-do list this spring?

''There are three big areas of concern,'' he said.

''One, how we're going to address the center issue now that Richie Gandy is injured. You've got to have somebody at center who can get the other four guys on the same page upfront, as well as get the ball to the quarterback.

''Two, who's going to be our second-team tailback? You feel good about (Gerald) Riggs but you don't know yet about Arian (Foster) or JaKouri (Williams). We've got to come out of spring knowing exactly what Arian and JaKouri can do. Most of their time last fall was spent giving the defense a look, as opposed to getting ready to play.

''No. 3, our health issue at tight end. Brad Cottam's coming off surgery. Jake Finlayson missed all of last year with an injury. Justin Reed is really limited with his back problem. If they all start out healthy, I think we'll be OK. If we lose two of those guys, I think we have a lot of depth issues.''

One area where there is absolutely no concern is wide receiver. The Vols are loaded at this vital position, despite the loss of seniors Tony Brown and Derrick Tinsley. The troops include Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain, Bret Smith, Chris Hannon and C.J. Fayton, plus redshirt freshman Bill Grimes and true freshman Josh Briscoe, a mid-term enrollee last winter.

''I think we have a lot of potential,'' Sanders conceded. ''There's not many groups better than we are. There may be some better individuals but as a group I think we've got five guys that are pretty good. And I'm excited about what Josh Briscoe's been able to accomplish to this point.''


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