Crompton's dilemma

After missing the 2005 football season due to a shoulder problem, redshirt freshman quarterback Jonathan Crompton is facing an interesting dilemma this spring: He wants to do enough to impress Tennessee's coaches but he also wants to protect his surgically repaired shoulder by not overdoing it.

"We've still got two-a-days (in August) and all that," he said recently. "I'm going to go out there and give it everything I've got this spring but I'm not going to try to do everything right now, so I won't be there for two-a-days."

UT resumes practice on Tuesday after an 11-day layoff for spring break. Like the other Vols, Crompton is hoping to showcase his skills in these last few workouts leading up to the April 8 Orange & White game. So, what's the key to catching the coaches' eyes?

"Just play my game," he said. "That's all I can do. I'm not going to try and do too much, hurt myself or whatever. I'm just going out there and have fun playing."

Currently listed No. 2 behind rising junior Erik Ainge, Jonathan Crompton isn't worried about the depth chart at this time. Perhaps he remembers how Rick Clausen went from third-team QB to first-team in 2004 and from second-team to first-team in 2005. Due to injuries and slumps, backup quarterbacks can find themselves thrust into the top spot at any time.

"Yeah, but everybody's always a snap away," Crompton noted. "It kind of makes me feel a little better (about being No. 2 on the depth chart) I guess but I'm not really thinking about that right now."

One of the top priorities this spring has been upgrading a Tennessee passing attack that was largely unproductive in 2005. Crompton believes the Vols are on the right track in this regard.

"We've got some great wide receivers out there who are going to bust their butts for Coach Trooper Taylor," he said. "Everybody's going to do their thing and we're all going to have fun doing it."

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