Six frosh to watch

With the season opener a week away, Tennessee's football team remains hungry for depth in its offensive and defensive lines. As a result, head coach Phillip Fulmer probably will look to some true freshmen for help along both fronts.

Fulmer said this week that offensive linemen Jacques McClendon and Ramone Johnson are likely to see backup duty Sept. 2 against California, adding that defensive lineman Chase Nelson "probably would be in that group," also.

Two first-year linebackers also are projected to play in Game 1 – Dorian Davis and LaMarcus Thompson.

And, of course, there's freshman receiver Quintin Hancock, who has been the rage of preseason drills.

"We're excited about him," Fulmer said.

Here are brief profiles of the six freshmen most likely to play in the Vol opener:

QUINTIN HANCOCK: This 6-2, 185-pounder from St. Augustine, Fla., starred in the three preseason scrimmages, leading all receivers in catches (10), yards (149) and touchdowns (4). He has good speed, great hands and the polish of a junior.

DORIAN DAVIS: This 6-1, 205-pound outside linebacker from Iowa City, led all tacklers in scrimmage No. 3 with seven stops. Small but fast, he's cut from the same mold as former Vol ‘backers Eric Westmoreland and Eddie Moore.

LaMARCUS THOMPSON: This 6-1, 203-pound outside linebacker from Lithonia, Ga., wasn't as visible as Davis in preseason. Still, he should contribute on special teams and perhaps get a few snaps from scrimmage.

CHASE NELSON: This 6-4, 255-pounder from Tulsa is steadily working his way into the playing rotation on the Vols' depth-poor defensive line. He could see action vs. Cal in the opener.

JACQUES McCLENDON: This 6-3, 325-pounder from Chattanooga has been running second-team at guard. He's going to be very, very good very, very soon.

RAMONE JOHNSON: This 6-4, 305-pounder from Chicago is pushing for a second-team berth at offensive tackle. Don't bet against him. Said Fulmer: "Ramone Johnson, if he keeps coming, could be in one of those tackle spots."


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