Battle of Britton

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer would prefer to have one guy handle the punting chores and another guy handle the Volunteers' place-kicking duties. He figures one guy doing both is too taxing.

Britton Colquitt didn't seem negatively affected by doing both in last Saturday's scrimmage, however. The rising junior made six of nine field-goal tries and still boomed four punts for a whopping 50.3-yard average.

Colquitt already has proved himself to be one of the NCAA's premier punters, averaging 44.9 yards as a sophomore in 2006. Now that four-year starting kicker James Wilhoit is out of eligibility, Colquitt is hoping to handle that chore, as well. To win the kicking duties, however, he must withstand the challenge of redshirt freshman Daniel Lincoln, who nailed 8 of 10 field-goal tries last Saturday, including 6 of 7 from beyond 40 yards.

"Daniel Lincoln is certainly coming along," Colquitt conceded, "but Coach Fulmer knows I've been in a game and he feels confident in me."

Colquitt handled both the punting and kicking chores during his career at Knoxville's Bearden High School, and says he knows how to pace himself so he doesn't overwork his leg. Still, he'll happily settle for just punting in 2007 if Lincoln seems to be the better option.

"I just want to do the best for the team," Colquitt said. "I feel a lot more confident than if I was doing it last year. I've missed a few (field goals in practice) but I really feel like I'm hitting it good."

Fulmer was pleased with the performance of both Colquitt and Lincoln in the second full-scale scrimmage, noting: "We got some good work in the kicking game. I'm really pleased with the way Daniel Lincoln has responded. From where he finished in the fall to where he is now, he's really close to being able to kick in the Southeastern Conference."

Although the Vols' head man would prefer that Colquitt not handle the punting AND kicking duties, the coach certainly isn't ruling out the possibility.

"I don't want one guy doing all of that if I can help it," he said recently. "If I can't help it, that's OK. But that'll be up to Daniel."

Tennessee did not sign a kicker in February but the Vols have some non-scholarship candidates who are scheduled to join the placement competition in August.

"We've got a couple of walk-on youngsters, so we'll see how it goes," Fulmer said. "You may find an Alex Walls in that group of guys."


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