Prize package

Tennessee's coaches are hoping one freshman receiver prospect can line up as a shotgun quarterback occasionally in a mini-package similar to the "Wildcat package" Arkansas used so successfully last fall.

That has Gerald Jones smiling. The heralded 6-0, 185-pounder from Oklahoma City is already comfortable taking snaps.

"Most definitely," he said. "I'll be right back at home.... That's going to be really fun because I played quarterback in high school."

In addition to playing quarterback in high school, Jones played in a system virtually identical to the package he could be playing at Tennessee.

"It was a shotgun, spread offense with one back," he recalled. "I'd just let her rip or run it."

Although Jones appears to be a terrific fit for the QB package, his long-range future is as a receiver. The departure of 2006 starters Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain and Bret Smith leaves three gaping holes in Tennessee's wideout corps. As a result, Jones has a golden opportunity to get "in the mix" as a rookie.

"I believe every year there's an opportunity," he said. "Even if you return three starters there's an opportunity to start because no one's promised to start every year. It's a new thing every year."

Because he's having to learn the receiver position from scratch, Jones is behind Tennessee's other wideout prospects. Still, he's eager to compete.

"I'm very excited, knowing I have a chance to get in and play, whether I start or not," he said. "I'm just excited about playing."

Asked what he must do to get the attention of Tennessee's coaches, Jones answered without hesitation:

"Work hard ... show them I want to play. Give unbelievable effort, learn the plays, catch the ball and stay healthy."

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