Day 1: First impressions

In keeping with policy established last year, reporters were asked to leave following the first four periods of Tennessee's initial football practice Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Before we left, though, we managed to pick up a few first impressions that fans may find interesting. For example:

• Offensive lineman Chris Scott (No. 79) looks huge. He's listed 6-5 and 300 pounds but he looks heavier than that.

• Center Josh McNeil (No. 50) looks lean at 6-4 and 283. He also looks surprisingly nimble for a big man.

• Safety Adam Myers-White (No. 3) is listed 6-3 and 190 looks like a greyhound. He can put on 20 pounds easily.

• Running back LaMarcus Coker (No. 22) also appears to be on the rangy side. He looks rangy at 5-11 and 190.

• Tight end Jeff Cottam (No. 80) looks rail-thin at 6-7 and 260. He'll be a 280-pounder before he leaves.

• Quarterback Jonathan Crompton (No. 8) took part in some agility drills, even though he's scheduled to undergo arm surgery Aug. 10.

• Athlete Lucas Taylor (No. 12) showed good feet in an agility drill involving high-stepping laterally over hurdles. Most observers assumed he was ticketed for cornerback but he got some work at wide receiver on Friday.

• Wide receiver Slick Shelley (No. 11) also exhibited quick feet in the hurdle drill. He later made a nice catch in a passing drill and showed a little burst as he turned upfield.

• Defensive lineman Dan Williams (No. 77) is a load. He looks even bigger than his listed size of 6-3 and 310 pounds.

• Defensive tackle Demonte Bolden (No. 99) looks fit and trim at 6-5 and 285 pounds. He appears ready to contribute after a year at prep school.

• Tailback Montario Hardesty (No. 34) just looks like an athlete in the fluid way he moves. He also looks bigger than his listed size of 6-0 and 190.

PRACTICE NOTES:

Moving to his left in a passing drill, sophomore quarterback Erik Ainge fired a laser beam that hit his receiver right in the numbers. Ainge's arm appears even stronger than last season.

Senior receiver C.J. Fayton made a spectacular one-handed grab along the sidelines, somehow kept his balance and turned upfield for a nice gain in a passing drill. The fancy catch earned a chest-bump from Vol aide Trooper Taylor.

Defensive lineman Matt McGlothlin, though not listed on the roster sheet provided by UT, took part in the practice. Suspended for the 2004 season for an unspecified violation of team rules, he wore jersey No. 68 on Friday. Linebacker Nick Wilson, another player who sat out '04 on suspension, also is back with the team.

Former Vol center Johnny Hibbett, now an official in the Southern Conference, was on hand to help officiate the workout.


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