UT to face top corners

Tennessee's 2006 wide receivers will find out quickly how much progress they've made under new position coach Trooper Taylor. The Vols' opening foe, California, boasts a cornerback who is rated first-team All-America and No. 2 nationally at his position by Collegefootballnews.com.

The player in question is Daymeion Hughes. His size, quickness and coverage skills are sure to present problems for Vol wideouts Sept. 2 at Neyland Stadium. Here's what the folks at CFN.com have to say about him:

"Daymeion Hughes, Sr. California - 62 tackles, 5 interceptions, 12 broken up passes, 1.5 TFL

"The first-team All-Pac 10 star of last year should blossom into a superstar this season. He's an experienced defender with 118 tackles and seven career interceptions, and he put it all together with a fantastic 2005, turning into the lock-down corner the defense was looking for. At 6-2 and 188 pounds he's a great-sized corner with the speed to stay with just about any receiver in the conference."

Who's better than Hughes? According to CFN.com, only one guy – South Carolina's Fred Bennett – and the Vols get an up-close look at him Oct. 28 at Neyland Stadium. CFN.com tabs the Gamecocks standout No. 1 among NCAA corners. Here's the explanation:

"Fred Bennett, Sr. South Carolina - 31 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, 10 broken up passes

"At 6-1 and 199 pounds with lights-out speed, Bennett will emerge as one of the SEC's best corners this year and is the next top NFL prospect from the USC defensive backfield. He has been steady over the last two seasons with good open-field tackling ability, seven interceptions and 13 broken up passes."

Besides Bennett, the only SEC cornerback to make CFN.com's list is Auburn's David Irons, who checks in at No. 10.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories