Colquitt may not be ready for Cal

Craig Colquitt said he's not sure his son, Tennessee punter-kicker Britton Colquitt, will be ready to play against California on Saturday.

Junior Britton Colquitt pulled a quadriceps muscle while kicking off during a scrimmage Aug. 18 and he's been slow to heal.

To expedite the process, Britton has been going to a hyperbaric chamber which forces oxygen into the body. He's been doing so on a daily basis since Thursday and plans to go each day until it's time to travel to California on Thursday.

Craig Colquitt said it's the same method used by NFL receiver Terrell Owens, who broke his leg but recovered quickly to play for Philadelphia in the Super Bowl two years ago.

After initially being opposed to his son trying to handle punting, kickoff and place-kicking duties, Craig said his ``ego'' got to him and he'd like to see Britton handle all three jobs for the Vols.

Even after Britton was injured kicking off?

Yes, Craig Colquitt said. Craig, by the way, is working with the punters and kickers. That does not violate the NCAA rule about volunteer coaches because Craig's son is a punter and kicker.

Kicking off puts the greater strain on the leg, so that would be the first job Britton would relinquish provided he is able to play against Cal.

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said he's optimistic Colquitt, who didn't kick Saturday, will be ready for the opener.

``Yeah, I think he'll be fine,'' Fulmer said. ``We're just being real cautious with it. I don't know that I'll ask him to do everything at California. I want to make sure he's available for punting. If he can do the other things, that would be a plus.''

Fulmer said redshirt freshman Daniel Lincoln is ``doing fine'' and has ``really improved.'' But the coach said Colquitt is the better kicker.

Chad Cunningham, another redshirt freshman, handled the punting Saturday.

Cunningham once again displayed a strong leg, but he was inconsistent, booming 50-yarders, then having a few shanks and mis-hits.


Fulmer said he might take defensive end Ben Martin to California even though the true freshman won't play because of a knee injury.

``Three weeks from now he'll be playing against Florida and I don't want that to be his first trip,'' Fulmer said.

Does that mean Martin, who had his knee scoped earlier this week, will be back in three weeks?

``That's my goal,'' Fulmer said. ``They (doctors) said two to four weeks and that (Florida game) is three weeks. That's when he ought to be back.''

Fulmer said the travel roster will number 75 to 80. More than 10 will be true freshmen, Fulmer said.

``I'm not taking anybody just to be a nice guy,'' Fulmer said. ``There is a reason they'll go, if they go.''

Fulmer added: ``There are some real dynamics in this freshman class that will help this football team. It really bodes well for the future. They're unbelievable, wonderful young men. … It's incredible just to be around them. They have a pleasant attitude and they play football the way it's supposed to be played.''


Suspended running back LaMarcus Coker, reinstated Friday but out for the season opener, addressed his teammates Saturday morning.

``He did a real good job, actually,'' Fulmer said of the sophomore from Antioch. ``He not only apologized for the distraction but also warned guys to communicate with coaches and if they have needs, express those needs. If they can't do it that way, then seek counsel and advice through our university or someone to do the right thing.''

Fulmer said he's ``hopeful'' Coker won't have any more problems.

Coker has had multiple positive drug tests and class attendance issues.

``This is it,'' Fulmer said of Coker having run out of chances. ``We've kind of drawn a line in the sand now.''

Coker practiced Saturday with the scout team. Coker led the team in rushing last season and would likely be the top kick returner, if available.

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