Scrimmage leftovers

What follows are some interesting tidbits that didn't quite make it into yesterday's articles on Tennessee's first full-scale football scrimmage:

- Lucas Taylor came from nowhere to be one of the stars of the scrimmage. The speedy freshman from Louisiana caught four passes for 95 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown bomb.

Asked about Taylor, Vol quarterback Erik Ainge grinned and replied: "That boy can run, can't he?"

Taylor's exploits had head coach Phillip Fulmer smiling, too. He dismissed the idea that the speedster's performance was a surprise, however.

"He's not a surprise to us," the head man said. "When we signed him we expected him to be a good player. We thought we had a jewel. He had 500-and-something yards rushing in one (high school) game, and he looks like he's going to be pretty good with his hands on the ball."

- Another freshman who went from obscurity to prominence with a big showing on Saturday was Gerald Williams. The 6-5, 225-pounder from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., ranged from sideline to sideline to make plays. He was projected to grow into an end but, for now at least, is looking awfully good at linebacker.

"He made a couple of big hits," Fulmer conceded. "Gerald's a real good athlete. We've got to find the right spot for him. It may be linebacker."

- Defensive end Robert Ayers, back from a four-month suspension stemming from an assault charge, is channeling his aggressiveness into football this preseason. He made several good plays Saturday, including an eight-yard sack of Ainge.

"Robert Ayers has come a million miles," Fulmer said. "I'm really proud of him. He's much more pleasant to be around, and it looks like he's headed in the right direction."

A converted linebacker, Ayers has the quickness off the edge to be an exceptional pass rusher someday.

"He's got the speed that, as he learns the position, he could be compared to some of the better ends we've had here," Fulmer said. "He's not there yet – he's never played the position and he's learning – but I'm real encouraged about how he's gone about his business."

- Redshirt freshman Britton Colquitt was two for two on 42-yard field goal attempts Saturday and could unseat Ryan Fusco for the No. 2 placekicking job behind James Wilhoit. Colquitt already is the No. 1 punter, so doubling as a backup kicker would enhance his value considerably.

"We've worked with him placekicking," Fulmer said. "It'd help us if he could do it because that's one less guy we'd have to carry to Florida (for the Vols' first road game). If he could be our backup kicker, that'd let us take another football player – another tackle or linebacker."

Fusco hit one of two from 42 yards. He has been erratic all preseason and is in danger of losing his spot on the travel roster.


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