Montrell looks like the guy

More and more, <a target='_new' href='http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=7&p=8&c=1&nid=315892&yr=2002'>Montrell Jones</a> looks like the answer to the ongoing question: Who'll be the Vols' No. 2 receiver this fall?

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore from Louisville, Ky., lowered his 40-yard dash time to 4.35 over the summer and raised his stock in the process. The newfound quickness has helped him to separate himself from Vol defensive backs in scrimmages and separate himself from the competition at receiver, as well. If the season opened today, he'd probably start at the wideout spot opposite Kelley Washington.


''I'm having a pretty good camp, and I look to continue,'' he said. ''Our whole receiving corps is working to get better each and every day.''


Maybe so, but Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer is so concerned about UT's lack of big-play receivers that he gave safeties Rashad Baker and Mark Jones some work at wideout in Tuesday night's scrimmage. That wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the receiving corps but Jones says he and his cohorts weren't insulted.


''It motivates us and makes us look at some things,'' Jones said. ''Rashad Baker and Mark Jones were recruited as receivers, so they definitely can play the position. But we're looking at not having to use them this year.''


Jones caught 266 passes at Male High School, setting a Kentucky state record in the process. He struggled to get open as a Vol freshman, however, grabbing just six balls in limited playing time. Now that his speed has improved, he seems to be getting open more consistently.


''I had a real good offseason,'' he said. ''I was running high 4.4s last fall but I've been clocked at 4.35 this summer. That's just hard work. I stayed here and worked out, and I think it's paying off.''


Jones is the most sure-handed of Tennessee's receivers. He generally catches everything he can reach.


''That just comes from concentration,'' he said. ''I never played receiver until high school, but I guess I've always had a knack for catching the ball.''


Even if Jones isn't UT's No. 2 receiver, he'll be a key figure in the passing game this fall. The thought brings a smile to his face.


''I'm excited,'' he said. ''I'm eager to jump into this season.''


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