Saturday Practice Report

A kicking scrimmage was the order of the day as Tennessee got some much needed work in on Saturday morning. The practice time allowed for all five kickers to showcase their skills. Alex Walls, Dustin Colquitt, Seth Reagan, James Wilhoit, and Phillip Newman each held center stage during the session.

"The kicking game can be a winning edge and a great equalizer," said Coach Fulmer.  "We're looking for somebody to make something happen."  Nowhere else is that phrase more evident than at punt returner.  Fulmer said Mark Jones would be the go-to-guy if the team played today.  Jones apparently has jumped fellow secondary teammate Rashad Baker for the role.  According to Fulmer, Baker averaged about ten yards per return last season.  However, with the personnel available for the 2002 campaign the coaching staff expects that number to increase.

As with most positions on the team, depth is not a question with the kicking specialists.  Fulmer believes James Wilhoit and Phillip Newman are both solid back-ups at all three kicking positions.  He also thinks Newman has the strongest leg of the bunch.  Consistency is a problem, though.

However, with the traveling limitations don't expect the team to carry any more than two kickers on the road.  Teams can only travel with 70 players according to NCAA rules.  That number increases to 80 during SEC home games.  For non-conference home games roster limits are usually not an issue.

Finally, as the Vols prepare for their first game this season, Fulmer said, "I expect we will be ready to go for game week."  The season kicks off on August 31st in Nashville against Wyoming in the Coliseum.

Number Changes: With the dismissal of Tony Campbell, James Wilhoit will wear 25, his old high-school number.  Victor McClure has switched from 59 to 83 since his move from offensive tackle to tight end. 


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