Friday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE- The Tennessee football team wrapped up another week of spring practice at Haslam Field on Friday afternoon. With just two spring practices remaining, Head Coach Phillip Fulmer's biggest hurdle to overcome is keeping enough players healthy to compete in next Saturday's Orange and White game.

"We want to try to have a scrimmage like we did last year," said Fulmer. "We'd split up teams, try to have a draft and it's going to require a considerable amount of work because honestly we've got so many injuries. I want it to be a productive day. Right now our plan is to have a draft and try to play a game. It'll be really simple for the younger guys that will be there."

"It's gotten frustrating here in the last few days," Fulmer said. "We lost four or five other guys. The biggest thing is to be ready for the fall. Most of our surgeries have been to prepare ourselves for the fall."

Five players underwent surgery on Friday. The list included Jared Hostetter, Arron Sears, Cody Douglas, Roshaun Fellow, and Ellix Wilson.

One of the most recent players to go down with an injury is Arian Foster. Foster sprained his ankle on Thursday. However, it seems as if Foster gave the coaching staff a good idea of what he‚s capable of.

"Arian had done very well," said Fulmer. "Today Ja‚Kouri Williams had a good day. I don't know if either one has distinguished themselves enough to say they've got it locked down. We've got two freshmen coming in. Freshmen running backs can get in the mix pretty fast. If we started today it‚d be Riggs, Foster, and Ja‚Kouri."

On the defensive side of the football, Daniel Brooks turned plenty of heads with some monster hits during Friday's scrimmage. Brooks has seen time at both defensive end and linebacker so far this spring. Although he has little game experience, he is showing flashes of the player most thought they were getting out of high-school three years ago.

"Daniel needs to be more consistent," Fulmer said. "He had two or three big hits today, real big hits. That's a good thing. I like his attitude and his effort. He doesn't know a whole lot about what he's doing. He and Marvin Mitchell both give us an option there (at defensive end). They understand pad leverage and that‚s the biggest thing when you take on those offensive tackles."

"He's finally coming closer to reaching the potential that he has or all the hype when he came in here," Fulmer said. "All those kids have different personalities and backgrounds and they mature at different speeds. He's reaching a little maturity now. He‚s doing a lot less talking and a lot more acting."

On the special team's front, this yea's group of kick-returners hopes to improve upon last season‚s futility. Fulmer indicated the unit would be comprised of Brent Schaeffer, Jon Hefney, Jon Wade, Inky Johnson, Arian Foster, and Gerald Riggs.

Schaeffer has been splitting time with the quarterbacks and special teams this spring. Fulmer seems to think he gives the Vols an added dimension at both positions.

"Brentt's pretty dynamic," Fulmer said. "Each time he‚s had an opportunity he's made a pretty big play. He's a guy we need to get on the field. He's still in the mix at quarterback."


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