Freshmen catch Fulmer's eye

After twice watching the film of Thursday night's situational scrimmage, Vol head coach Phillip Fulmer commented Friday morning that several of this year's freshmen are ''way ahead of where most freshmen would be.''

The coach singled out linebackers Parys Haralson and Cory Anderson, plus defensive ends Jonathan (J.T.) Mapu and Jason Hall.

''Haralson was everywhere,'' Fulmer said. ''He doesn't know a whole lot about what he's doing, except making plays. He's one of those guys we probably don't need to overcoach too much. He's just a really good player — instinctive, strong and fast. Once he learns what he's doing, I think he's going to be a really good player.''

''Cory Anderson made a lot of plays; he's just a natural football player. As he learns and gets better, I think he'll be able to help our team. He's very athletic.

''Mapu and Hall have a chance to be in the mix (at end). Whether they would get enough reps to not redshirt them is what we've got to find out the next few days. I think one or both of those guys will play.''

Highlights of Friday's morning workout were: the return of tailback Cedric Houston from a groin pull and linebacker Kevin Burnett from a sore knee ... O.J. Owens intercepting Casey Clausen on an underthrown post route ... Tony Brown laying out to make a nice catch on a crossing route ... C.J. Leak hitting Houston on a deep ball over Keyon Whiteside ... Mark Jones making a nice break on the ball to intercept an intermediate throw by Leak.

Fulmer said he is encouraged by the work of Anthony Herrera, who is battling Jason Respert and Chavis Smith for playing time at guard.

''You forget with that shoulder (injury) last year, how limited it made him,'' Fulmer said. ''He looked like a new guy.''

The Vols hold their first full-scale scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday.

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