Hannon praises WRs

Tennessee's 2005 receiving corps may not be the best group in the NCAA but it's the best group the Vols have fielded in awhile. And that opinion comes from a guy who should know.

"I haven't seen everybody else in the nation," senior wideout Chris Hannon said this week. "But in my four years here this is the best we've been – on the field, off the field, bonding and stuff."

Hannon, Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain, Bret Smith and C.J. Fayton give Vol defensive backs a real workout in practice each day. This has earned the pass-catchers praise from some unlikely sources.

"A lot of coaches from the defensive side have been coming up and complimenting us a lot," Hannon said.

So, why is this receiving corps better than the previous three?

"We know all the plays like the back of our hands," Hannon said. "We're fast. We're physical. We're athletes out there having fun."

As talented as UT's veteran receivers are, they're being pushed by some young pups. Freshmen Lucas Taylor, Josh Briscoe and Austin Rogers all made their way onto the three-deep roster for Saturday's opener against Alabama-Birmingham.

"Man, they look real good," Hannon said of the rookie receivers. "They're catching on and learning. They're learning real fast. When you tell them something, they don't try to brush you off. They suck everything up like sponges, and they just run with it."

In addition to receiving passes, Hannon is one of four Vols being groomed to receive kickoffs this fall. He's looking forward to the opportunity, especially since the blocking wedge includes massive offensive tackle Albert Toeaina.

"It's really fun because he weighs like 365 pounds," Hannon said. "Whoever's trying to bust that wedge has to go through him, and that's going to be a real hard task.

"Having him and the other offensive linemen out there I think is going to make a real difference."


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