Morley's message

Demetrice Morley wasn't taking his school work seriously enough, so he was "schooled" by Phillip Fulmer on Saturday night. Tennessee's head coach benched his starting free safety for the first half of the South Carolina game as punishment for cutting class.

Facing a Steve Spurrier offense without one of your starting defensive backs is a risky proposition but Fulmer was determined to make a point: If you don't go to class, you don't play football.

"We're going to go to class and we're going to do what we're supposed to do that way," the head man said. "This team has been tremendous in that way, and I think Demetrice understands a lot better that he's going to do it our way."

With Morley sidelined, Antonio Wardlow made his first career start. The 6-0, 185-pound redshirt freshman did a fine job filling in, helping Tennessee build a 14-10 halftime lead minus Morley.

"Antonio Wardlow jumped in there and did a nice job," Fulmer said.

The Vol boss believes that should've taught Morley a valuable lesson.

"None of us is more valuable than the program," Fulmer noted. "It sent the right message to him and to the team."

Morley, a 6-2, 195-pound sophomore from Miami, is an enormously gifted athlete who is just beginning to scratch his potential. Once he develops a little more focus and discipline, he could be a superstar.

"Demetrice Morley is a very talented young man," Fulmer said, adding: "I think he sometimes relies too much on his talent, and the intensity he needs to play with is not always there."

Morley's intensity level was high in the second half vs. South Carolina and it is likely to be high against LSU this Saturday. Watching Antonio Wardlow play his position apparently served as a wake-up call.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories