Fulmer happy with 'high level'

Tennessee returned to Haslam Field on Monday for two hours of practice, trying to maintain a steady pace in advance of the Christmas holidays. The Vols have a five-day break beginning Thursday before reconvening Dec. 26 in Tampa, Fla.

"That's where your leadership on your team has to show up," head coach Phillip Fulmer said of the upcoming holiday. "The coaches' demands have to continue to be at a high level. I don't think we've wasted any practices, although I don't think we've been at our 'A' game every time, either."

Monday's session was the first full workout since Saturday's live scrimmage and Fulmer said the coaches saw what they needed to see.

"Football is a game, really, of the team that makes the fewest mistakes. When you can scrimmage like we did and find those things before they become a bigger problem - when you play full-speed football you find those things. So I think we were able to get on top of things that could have been a problem."

The Vols have morning workouts set for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tennessee faces Penn State on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl.


Sunday was another banner day for Tennessee football on the academic front. Six Vols graduated and nine more were honored for ongoing excellence in academic pursuits during Sunday?s team banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Volunteer Achiever Awards went to Michael Frogg, David Yancey and Eric Young for excellent class attendance, consistent use of available resources and a mastery of difficult majors. Frogg is pursuing a degree in criminal justice, Yancey in nuclear engineering and Young in psychology.

Six others were named to the Thornton Center 40-Plus Club for their successful completion of at least 40 credit hours over the past academic year. Honorees were Jeff Cottam, Kris Fant, Antonio Gaines, Montario Hardesty, Austin Rogers and Kirk Swearingen.

In addition to these success stories, six Vols went through graduation ceremonies Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Cory Anderson, Stanley Asumnu, Drew Tardy, Todd Vinson, Ryan West and James Wilhoit (master?s) all received degrees from UT President Dr. John D. Petersen.

In 2005, Tennessee placed 30 student-athletes on the SEC Academic Honor Roll to lead all conference schools. It was the highest number in program history for the third consecutive season, topping the 22 who were selected in 2004 and the 20 who made the last in 2003.

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