Eddie Moore emerges as leader

Outside linebacker Eddie Moore was the leader of Tennessee's tackle chart last season but he's looking to expand his role this year. He's looking to be a team leader, as well.

Moore, a 6-foot, 220-pound senior from South Pittsburg, began assuming a leadership role as a junior last fall. Throughout summer workouts, though, he has been asserting himself even more.

''I feel it's an opportunity to be a leader, to show the young guys the way things need to be done, on and off the field,'' he said.

Moore's efforts have not gone unnoticed. He and quarterback Casey Clausen have been selected to join head coach Phillip Fulmer as UT's representatives to SEC Kickoff '02 Media Days in Birmingham later this month.

''That's an honor,'' said Moore, although he added that his new role hasn't altered his approach significantly.

''I don't think it's changed me,'' he said. ''As far as being a leader, I try to do a lot of stuff behind the scenes, not out in the open. This puts me out front a little more but I think I've been doing the things that need to be done by a leader already.''

Given his quiet nature, Moore seems an unlikely candidate for a leadership role. He insists he's becoming more vocal, however.

''As far as on the field, yes, I'm more vocal,'' he said. ''With my teammates and the media, not really.''

Moore is spending a significant amount of time in the weight room these days. He says it's the price he and his teammates must pay this summer in order to be winners this fall.

''If we didn't do it in here, we sure couldn't do it on the field,'' he said. ''It starts here in the summertime. I'm in here probably six hours a day, about 30 hours a week. It feels like a fulltime job.''

Similarly, finding playing time for Tennessee's glut of talented linebackers figures to be a fulltime job for Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis this season. The Big Orange is loaded at the position.

''Our linebacker corps does have a lot of competition and a lot of great athletes, especially from the young guys coming up,'' Moore said. ''They seem like they've been playing D-1 (Division 1) ball already. That'll make it better for us as a team.''


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