Comeback corners

Florida's phenomenal team speed puts tremendous pressure on opposing cornerbacks, which makes depth at the position critical.

Thus, the recent return of Tennessee corners Dennis Rogan and Brent Vinson could be a huge lift for the Vols heading into this weekend's showdown with the fourth-ranked Gators.

Rogan missed the second half of Game 1 at UCLA with a pulled stomach muscle. Vinson missed the entire game serving a one-game suspension. Both returned to play in Game 2 vs. UAB last weekend and both figure to play key roles in Game 3 vs. Florida.

Vinson started 10 games as a freshman in 2007 before running into some academic difficulties in '08. Knowing he'll be available for the remainder of the season brought a big smile to the face of Vol secondary coach Larry Slade.

"We were hopeful everything would work out, and it did," Slade said. "He's out there playing, and I'm glad he was able to keep his composure and keep his attitude straight."

Strong safety Eric Berry was glad, too. He understands that the 6-1, 190-pound Vinson can be a standout if he develops the mentality needed to fully exploit his physical gifts.

"He's been showing a lot of determination and will to get back on the field," Berry noted. "He's a heck of an athlete, and he's really excited to be back on the field."

Still, Rogan's return is an even bigger boost for the Vols. In addition to being a first-team cornerback, he is one of the top reserves at safety. That kind of versatility is a huge plus for the secondary.

"Unbelievable," Slade said. "To go out and do a great job playing safety, then move to corner and do well there also certainly helps us as far as depth."

Berry is even more impressed with Rogan's ability to play multiple positions.

"He's like the Reggie Bush of defense," Berry said. "He plays nickel back, cornerback, safety ... he does it all. He's a good athlete, and whatever you tell him to do he's going to do it."


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