Where are Hancock, O'Neal?

Based on his sterling performance in 2006 preseason camp, Quintin Hancock seemed a good candidate to be Tennessee's top receiver in '07.

Based on his quality work as a freshman at Florida State in 2005 and his imposing numbers at City College of San Francisco in 2006, Kenny O'Neal seemed a good candidate to be Tennessee's top receiver in '07.

Things obviously haven't worked out as expected because the duo has contributed precious little to date.

Hancock, a 6-2, 185-pound sophomore from Saint Augustine, Fla., ranks seventh on the receiving chart with four catches for 21 yards. O'Neal, a 6-1, 195-pound junior from San Ramon, Calif., ranks 11th with one catch for 10 yards.

Hancock lacks breakaway speed but showed a knack for getting open and making dazzling catches prior to a suffering an injury that caused him to miss the last eight games of 2006. Injuries also slowed his progress this preseason but he is now healthy and seemingly ready to contribute.

"Quintin needs to play more," head coach Phillip Fulmer said this week. "We need to get him in the mix. We've all said that, and it's just a matter of the rotation not happening just like you'd want."

O'Neal is a speedster who could provide the deep threat Tennessee desperately needs. He struggled with his assignments in August, however, and had some drops in preseason scrimmages that seemed to shake his confidence a bit.

Whatever the reasons might be, Quintin Hancock and Kenny O'Neal have not been the big-time playmakers they projected to be. Still, Fulmer is determined to get them more snaps in the games to come, especially Hancock.

"He needs to play more," the head man said. "He's played well when he's played. He's been productive. It darned sure would help us a lot. He and Kenny certainly should be playing more."


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