Fulmer praises freshmen

Vol head man Phillip Fulmer was clearly pleased with the play of Tennessee's freshman linemen in Saturday's 47-7 Game 1 defeat of Wyoming.

Speaking at his Tuesday news conference, the head man said defensive tackle Greg Jones ''did real well for his first action,'' adding: ''We can't wait till Justin Harrell gets back out there. We're going to do the same thing with him.''

Defensive ends Jason Hall and J.T. Mapu also saw significant reserve action in the opener. ''I was really pleased with those guys,'' Fulmer said.

Guard Rob Smith and tackle Cody Douglas played quite a few snaps in the offensive line, acquitting themselves well for the most part.

''It's harder to be an offensive lineman and do all of those things,'' Fulmer said. ''Rob Smith is very physical and very determined. He's going to be a great football player, along with Cody Douglas. They're going to be really good.''

Other newsy notes from the Fulmer's conference:

Reserve cornerback Corey Larkins, who returned a kickoff 70 yards vs. Wyoming, will handle at least some of the kickoff return chores against MTSU, although Leonard Scott should be recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for most of the opener. ''We're also going to give Corey a chance to handle a punt,'' Fulmer said.... The head man said backup QB C.J. Leak ''really needed'' the substantial action he saw after a two-year layoff due to knee surgery. ''He needed about three times that much. But he's making progress. We're inching forward.'' ... Junior offensive tackle Sean Young is ticketed for a redshirt year. Stuck behind starters Will Ofenheusle and Michael Muñoz, Young did not play in the opener. ''Unless there's a significant injury, we hope to be able to redshirt him,'' Fulmer said. ''Anthony Herrera slipped out there and did a heck of a good job (in relief vs. Wyoming). With Chavis Smith hopefully coming back pretty soon (from a knee problem) and the development of (freshman) Cody Douglas, we hope to get by without having to play him (Young).'' ... MTSU head man Andy McCollum was hired by Fulmer to serve as UT's linebackers coach in the spring of 1995. McCollum left shortly after spring practice and returned to Baylor but Fulmer still speaks highly of him, noting that he ''a very personable guy, very organized and very intense.''

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