08/10/02 Saturday Morning Practice Report

The Tennessee football team kicked off their weekend on the practice field Saturday morning. According to Phillip Fulmer, the team is retaining plenty of what it learned last year and in spring drills. "We have good carry-over with our backs, receivers, linemen, and backers," said Fulmer.

A few players stood out to onlookers, too. Mark Jones was spotted working with the first team defense at free safey. Gibril Wilson, a junior college transfer teamed with Jones to anchor the secondary's attack. Wilson's presence allowed Julian Battle to slide over to cornerback. Fulmer considers both Wilson and Jones in the hunt to battle for serious playing time in the upcoming season.

The offensive line welcomed freshman Rob Smith into the rotation at times. Smith is playing behind right guard Jason Respert. Anthony Herrera is backing up Chavis Smith at the other guard spot. Will Ofenheusle and Michael Munoz are steady at the tackle positions as well. Sean Young and Victor McClure should provide the depth.

Fulmer took time to pay tribute to another lineman, defensive tackle Demetrin Veal. "He's a guy that understands tempo. He's never had a problem going fast. Demetrin's far ahead of where you expect him to be."

Roaming the sidelines for the third consecutive day was one of the nations top high school players, Greg Olsen. The rising senior is on an unofficial visit. Olsen hails from New Jersey and is considered a high profile tight end prospect.

The team also welcomed defensive ends and special teams coach Steve Caldwell back to practice. Caldwell had been absent for the last few days due to a tragedy in his family. Caldwell's oldest son passed away earlier in the week.

The Vols practice again Saturday afternoon before taking Sunday off.


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