Freshman suit up

Tennessee's freshman footballers braved the heat and humidity to show the coaches why they were such a high rated class this past February.

On Tuesday afternoon Tennessee gathered all their new incoming freshman for a "training" session on some of the finer points of practice drills and the like. Despite some rust, the new guys showed that they indeed have the talent to back up their lofty ranking as a class.

The rookies were only on the field for one hour and did mostly stretching drills and worked exclusively on offense. A few names that stood out to me were Omar Gaither, Jonathan Wade, Marvin Mitchell and James Wilhoit.

Gaither seemed to be a leader among the freshman and looked to be in great physical shape. Omar is listed at 6-2, 215, but he looked a shade bigger than that.

Mitchell, even though he ran with the backs during the offense drills, also looked to be in good shape physically. Mitchell and Gaither could look to contribute on special teams this year. The defensive practice is tonight and that should be more of both guys strong showing.

Jonathan Wade, wearing the number 4 and a facemask shield, looked like a young version of Donte Stallworth. Wade did show some rust catching the ball, but his outstanding speed is very evident.

James Wilhoit's kicking duties were very limited on the afternoon. Wilhoit punted at the end of practice to Wade, Chris Hannon and James Banks. James connected very well on about 80 percent on his kicks and all had a very tight spiral on them.

Other nice showings:
Hannon caught punts very well from Wilhoit. James Banks showed good mobility, but needs to improve his accuracy throwing the ball. Banks is much better passing than what little he showed on Tuesday. Nerves probably. Justin Harrell is all but a lock to redshirt his freshman year as he faces another four-six weeks of recovery time with his leg. Aaron Kirkland looked somewhat undersized, but caught the ball very well. Junior Riggs ran the ball precisely considering there were no defenders. The Vols will practice at 8pm EST on Tuesday to focus on defense with the frosh. That will be posted later on tonight.


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