Jeffery's knee appears OK

Tennessee's defensive tackle corps may be getting some good news. Though coming off a torn ACL, incoming freshman Arthur Jeffery apparently will be available for preseason drills.

"His knee seems to be fine, from everything that I've heard," Vol head coach Lane Kiffin said on Tuesday. "I haven't seen him move around and stuff, but we'll throw him right in there."

Jeffery registered 74 stops, 28 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 5 blocked kicks as a junior at Booker High School of Sarasota, Fla. The 6-4, 285-pounder missed the entire 2008 season with the torn ACL, however, and apparently picked up a few pounds while recovering from surgery.

"I did see him when he came up, and he looked heavy ... heavier than when we recruited him," Kiffin said. "He's put on some weight during rehab. I don't really know where he's at (physically) but we'll throw him in there and find out."

Jeffery's rapid recovery from major knee surgery is one of two pleasant surprises Kiffin has encountered in recent months. The fanaticism of Vol supporters throughout the summer months is equally surprising.

"Yes, it really is," said Kiffin, whose previous college stop was at Southern Cal. "I think our staff and the people of Tennessee are a great marriage. You have people who are totally committed to the football program. You open the newspaper in the middle of July and there's five articles about the football team. If you open the L.A. Times all of July there's probably not going to be one article about the SC football team.

"It's very different from what I've come from but I really like it. I think it shows how important it (Vol football) is to people but I think we're showing how important Tennessee is to us - the dedication of our staff from the day they got here, guys sleeping in the office, half the guys not taking a vacation.

"I think the same effort and energy our fans are giving to us, we're giving to them."

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