B.J. and the bare (facts)

Saturday morning showers may have affected B.J. Coleman's performance in Tennessee's first major spring scrimmage but they didn't dampen his enthusiasm.

The 6-3, 223-pound rising sophomore from Chattanooga saw some of his throws tipped and several more miss the mark. Clearly, he didn't have an especially positive outing. Still, he walked away with a positive outlook.

"It was the first scrimmage, the first time being live and everything," he said. "We put in a good number of plays this week, and I think the main thing is to be able to learn those plays and know coverage....

"I think, come next scrimmage, it'll be a different story."

Lane Kiffin hopes so. Although he conceded following the scrimmage that B. J. Coleman is "doing well," the Vols' head man noted that "He's got to make some better decisions with the ball."

Coleman acknowledged that the performance was not his best of the spring but thought a swarming UT defense contributed to the showing.

"The defense is doing a great job," he said. "The defense has got a lot of coverages they're throwing at us and they're doing a lot of good things. At the same time, it's our job to make sure we get the ball in the hands of our playmakers."

Coleman is one of those people who always sees the glass half-full, rather than half-empty. Thus, he chose to focus on the positive aspects of the offensive performance.

"I think we saw some great things out of the receivers," he said. "The O-line did a heck of a job practicing with intensity."

Sophomore tailback Tauren Poole showed some intensity, too, breaking several impressive runs.

"Tauren Poole's a hard worker," Coleman said. "He's a great student, both in the classroom and the film room. Tauren's going to give you 110 percent every time he's out there, and he's always going to be where he's supposed to be. I think he's a great player and I think he's got a really bright future here."

Coleman appears to have a bright future at UT, as well. That's why he wasn't concerned that Kiffin singled out rising senior QB Jonathan Crompton for praise following Saturday's scrimmage.

"I think it's just competition," Coleman said. "I want to be the guy that they look to (as) No. 1 at the end of spring but whatever happens happens. I think the main thing is that you continue to get better.

"This was the first scrimmage but they (coaches) are going to want to see what we can do throughout the next week and into the next scrimmage, see how we get better. I think that's the most important thing."

Like his teammates, Coleman loves the gung-ho coaching style of UT's new staffers. He believes their enthusiasm will pay dividends in the fall.

"Absolutely," he said. "If you make practice as high-intensity and high-energy as you can, then those Saturdays you're prepared for. Those Saturdays you've got 107,000 people screaming and yelling, so you've got to be focused and ready to go.

"I think that's what we're experiencing out here."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories