Witten to be No. 2 receiver?

The search for a complement to star wideout Kelley Washington has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth among Tennessee football fans this offseason. That raises an interesting question: Why can't tight end Jason Witten be the No. 2 receiver?

''That's a good question,'' Witten said this week. ''I think it's going to be answered shortly. I think the Wyoming game will answer it. I think I have the ability to do it.''

At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Witten is no gazelle. Still, he ran well enough last January to make six receptions for 125 yards (including a 64-yard TD catch/run) in the Vols' Citrus Bowl blowout of Michigan. That performance has many fans expecting great things of him this fall.

''It's a lot of pressure but, at the same time, you've got to live up to that,'' he said. ''That's why I came to Tennessee ... for that opportunity. I'm excited about the opportunity to be a leader, on the field and off. I want to take care of business and be consistent.''

Although that imposing Citrus Bowl performance was the highlight of his college career to date, Witten views it merely as a stepping stone to bigger days in the future.

''You had to put it behind you real quick,'' he said. ''That's the way we are here at Tennessee. It was exciting because I knew I could do it. Now I've got to feed off that, go out there and make plays.''

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