Random Notes on UT Football

Kelley Washington is the best bargain in college football. <p> Washington, Tennessee's sensational sophomore receiver, will help win a lot of games for the Vols this year ... and he won't cost the Big Orange a cent. He's still under contract to Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins, who are paying his way through college.

Washington was so spectacular as a freshman last fall (64 catches for 1,010 yards) that he was projected as a possible first-round pick in the NFL draft. He opted to return for his sophomore season but is a virtual cinch to turn pro next April.

Asked if the Marlins will continue paying for Washington's schooling over his entire four years of collegiate eligibility, Vol head man Phillip Fulmer flashed an uncharacteristic burst of emotion.

"God, I hope he stays four years!" he said, grinning broadly. "But he's only got one more semester, I'd say."

* Tony Campbell, one of Tennessee's top outside linbackers, will miss the first two games (Wyoming, Middle Tennessee State) because of a disciplinary suspension. Fulmer said the suspension is related to academics.

Slated to back up Kevin Burnett this fall, Campbell recorded 12 solo tackles and 10 assists last season. Perhaps Tennessee's quickest linebacker, the 6-3, 225-pound junior is regarded as a potentially outstanding pass rusher.

Vol signee Marvin Mitchell told Rocky Top News a month ago that UT coaches suggested he be ready to play because Campbell wouldn't be eligible. RTN was unable to confirm the report, however, until now.

* Though tragic, the self-inflicted death of Landon Caldwell, 20-year-old son of UT defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell, has provided an illustration of how close the Vol "family" really is.

Fulmer arranged for a 57-seat bus to transport any UT players wishing to attend Wednesday's memorial service. When he asked for a show of hands to see how many Vols were going, Fulmer said "95 percent of them put their hands up." That would be enough to fill nearly two buses.

* Freshman Justin Harrell recently injured his ankle playing pickup basketball and will be out three to four weeks before he can begin conditioning, Fulmer said.

Asked what position Harrell will play when he returns to health, the Vol boss quipped: "He was a tight end prospect when we began recruiting him but he ate his way into a defensive lineman since then."

Harrell has bulked up from around 265 to 300 pounds in the past year.

* Seth Reagan, backup punter and the No. 1 holder for placements, has been awarded a scholarship for his senior season.

Reagan, who attended Knoxville's Farragut High School, found his way into the spotlight last fall against Memphis. After bobbling the snap on a point-after-touchdown attempt, he scooped up the loose ball and zipped a strike to Constantin Ritzmann for a two-point conversion.

Reagan is a two-time Academic All-SEC honoree. His sure hands have enabled Vol kicker Alex Walls to hit 82.5 percent (33 of 40) of his field goal tries and 100 percent (82 of 82) of his PAT attempts.

Don't forget-- * Tickets for Tennessee's home games with Rutgers (Sept. 28) and Kentucky (Nov. 30) are still available. Fans may purchase tickets to these games by going to UTsports.com or by calling 1-800-332-8657. The ticket office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

In addition, roughly 10,000 tickets remain for the Vols' Aug. 31 opener with Wyoming in Nashville. Tickets are available in both the lower level ($50 each) and upper level ($40 each). All tickets in the club level hae been sold.

To order tickets to the UT-Wyoming game, contact the Nashville Sports Council at www.nashvillesports.com or (615) 743-3120.

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