Cory's story

Tailback Arian Foster had a fine season in 2005. Tackle Arron Sears had a dandy year, too. Otherwise, just about every offensive player on Tennessee's team underachieved. That's why the Vols averaged just 18.6 points per game en route to a 5-6 record.

Knoxville native Cory Anderson may not have been the No. 1 underachiever on offense last year but he certainly ranked in the top five. The 6-3, 255-pound fullback saw his rushing numbers drop from 53 yards and 10.6 per carry in 2005 to 20 yards and 2.9 per carry in 2006. He also saw his receiving stats drop from 17 catches and two touchdowns to 14 catches and zero TDs. He lost a costly fumble inside the Alabama 5-yard line and his blocking wasn't as strong as it could've been.

If Tennessee is to bounce back with a big season in 2006, the Vols need for Anderson to bounce back with a big season. Phillip Fulmer thinks that may happen.

"Cory Anderson has had a good summer," the Vols' head man said this week. "I'm anxious to see where he is because he's one of those guys that has shown great flashes of talent but has probably underachieved as much at the fullback position as anybody I've seen since I've been at Tennessee."

Anderson has more size than any fullback in UT history and he probably has more raw ability, as well. If he can play up to his potential, he could be a tremendous force in the Vol attack – as a power runner, as a sure-handed receiver and as a dominant lead blocker.

"I'm expecting him to play up to his abilities as a football player and now as a senior leader on this team," Fulmer said. "We've had a number of conversations about that during the course of the summer. It's not just when he's being counted on to run the ball or catch the ball. He needs to be an every-down player to the best of his ability."

If Anderson becomes an every-down player, Tennessee's offense could improve significantly on that 18.6 points-per-game average.


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