JaKouri gets a look at receiver

After an unsuccessful stint as a Tennessee tailback, JaKouri Williams will try to make his mark catching the football instead of carrying it. The 5-10, 190-pound junior from Plaquemine, La., is working at receiver this spring.

Williams was one of the most heralded members of UT's 2004 signing class but he never climbed above third-team as a tailback with the Vols. He has excellent speed, so wide receiver was the next logical step in his search for playing time.

Trooper Taylor, who coaches Vol wideouts, likes Williams' quickness but says he must develop more all-around skills to be a factor in 2007.

"He can't be just a reverse guy," Taylor said. "He's got to be able to catch the slant. He's got to be able to catch the bubble screen. He's got to be able to run the curl route. Those are the things he has to work on this spring.

"If he doesn't show me he can do those things, he'll be a squad member … a special teams guy. He knows that. That's been told to him up front. I'm looking forward to seeing what JaKouri can bring because he can run and he can make people miss.

THE DEPTH CHART: Tennessee's spring depth chart lists two first-team tight ends and no fullback. The tight ends are Brad Cottam and Chris Brown. The other offensive first-teamers are: Erik Ainge (quarterback), LaMarcus Coker (tailback), Chris Scott (left tackle), Steven Jones (right tackle), Ramon Foster (left guard), Jacques McClendon (right guard), Josh McNeil (center), Lucas Taylor and Austin Rogers (wide receiver). UT's projected starting tackles, Eric Young and Anthony Parker, are slowed by injury this spring and are not listed on the depth chart.

The first-team defenders are: Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds (end), J.T. Mapu and Demonte' Bolden (tackle), Ryan Karl (strongside linebacker), Rico McCoy (weakside linebacker), Jerod Mayo (middle linebacker), Antonio Gaines and Roshaun Fellows (cornerback), Jonathan Hefney (free safety) and Jarod Parrish (strong safety).

ON THE MEND: Freshman offensive lineman Cody Pope will miss spring practice due to recent foot surgery. Eight more players will be limited. They are: tailback Montario Hardesty, linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive end Robert Ayers, defensive tackles Walter Fisher and Chase Nelson, offensive linemen Parker, Young and Cameron Mayo.

INKY UPDATE: Inquoris Johnson, who suffered major nerve damage in Game 2 against Air Force last fall, is no longer with the UT football program but remains in school.

"He's doing fine, has a great attitude," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "He wants to coach, I think. He's a wonderful young man. If they were all like Inky Johnson it would be a wonderful world."

Because he is physically unable to play football, Johnson eventually will be put on a medical scholarship.

"He'll be well taken care of from that standpoint … within the rules," Fulmer said.

BO KNOWS: Bo Hardegree, as reported earlier on this site, has decided to forgo his final season of football eligibility. After a redshirt year and three seasons as a little-used reserve quarterback, he decided to play for the UT tennis team this spring. He was an all-state tennis player in high school.

Hardegree is not divorcing himself from the Vol football program, however. The son of Jackson Central-Merry High School head coach Jim Hardegree, Bo will serve as a UT student coach this fall.

"He wants to go into coaching, as well," Fulmer said. "And he will be an outstanding one."

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