No 'snap' decision

You can't start a play until the center snaps the football. That basic truth is troubling Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, who is no closer to deciding who'll handle the chore than he was when preseason drills began 10 days ago.

Fulmer had hoped one of the center candidates would make a statement in last Saturday's full-scale scrimmage but it didn't happen. There were four fumbled snaps during the workout, and that's simply unacceptable.

Asked if he is any closer to finding a No. 1 snapper, the head man shrugged.

"I don't know for sure that we're closer," he said. "I hope after (watching) this tape we'll know more."

Fulmer knows that senior David Ligon can play the position. Ligon started the last four games of 2005 at center and played well. The problem is, he's also the Vols' most dependable guard, and Fulmer would like to leave him at that position. Sophomore Anthony Parker can play center, too, but he's better at guard.

Junior Michael Frogg, a former walk-on, is listed No. 1 at center. Former High School All-American Josh McNeil, a redshirt freshman, is listed No. 2. McNeil appears to be the preferred option but at least two of Saturday's fumbled snaps occurred while he was in the lineup.

"The youngster has a lot of ability but Josh McNeil is young," Fulmer said. "You hate to think of him having to go in there as a redshirt freshman. He's got to continue to grow and continue to mature."

Asked how important it is to establish a pecking order at center, Fulmer quipped: "Well, you can't play the game without a center."

Turning serious, he quickly added: "We've got three, four, five guys we feel like could play in a game but none of them right now is the complete answer. We could always make it Ligon or Parker. We know that, and that might be the direction we go.

"Those two know what to do. But they're not quite where they need to be."


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