Turk moving to end

Senior defensive ends Parys Haralson and Jason Hall hadn't even played their final game as Vols last November when Tennessee's football coaches began taking steps to replace them. One of those steps involved the move of tackle Turk McBride to end for the 2006 season.

"Basically, I just found out the last game of the season that they're going to move me back to defensive end," said McBride, who played end as a freshman, started at both tackle (three games) and end (one game) in 2004, then spent 2005 as a reserve tackle. "The way the defensive end situation is, we really don't have any senior leadership there, so I believe that'll be the best move for the team."

It should be the best move for Turk McBride, too. He was a prep All-America end back at Woodrow Wilson High of Camden, N.J. In addition, his size, speed and athleticism probably make him a better fit on the outside than the inside. Still, he has mixed emotions about the switch.

"I have two different feelings; I'm nervous and I'm happy," he said, smiling softly. "I haven't been out in that open space (at end) in a long time, so it's more like a nervous energy. But I'm also happy about it. That's my natural position, and I believe I'm going to do well at it."

At 6-4 and 274 pounds, McBride is a tad small for a major college defensive tackle. He has great size for an end, but it may be a little too great. Typically, Vol ends weigh in the 250-pound range. For instance, Haralson played at 248 pounds, Hall at 260.

"I'm trying to lose a couple of pounds to get quicker," McBride said. "I want to model my game after Parys. Parys had a great career here. He was like my big brother. I don't want to say I'm going to end up like Parys but I'm going to try and do well."

With Haralson, Hall and defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona out of eligibility, the only member of Tennessee's 2005 starting front four who will be back for 2006 is tackle Justin Harrell. Now that McBride is moving to end, the likely Game 1 front four will be as follows:

LEFT END: Turk McBride

LEFT TACKLE: Justin Harrell


RIGHT END: Robert Ayers, Xavier Mitchell or Antonio Reynolds

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