He's Myles ahead

Learning a new football scheme is almost as difficult as learning a new language. Once you get the hang of it, though, the resultant comfort level is truly sweet.

"The last scrimmage I had ... it was like cake," Tennessee freshman safety Darren Myles said following Saturday's workout at Neyland Stadium. "Everything was easier. I was faster. I adjusted to the game basically. I knew what I was doing, and I was able to respond quicker."

Although he didn't hit full stride until the Vols' Aug. 22 scrimmage, Myles felt himself picking up the pace a week earlier.

"The scrimmage before last I went in and told Coach Kiffin I was getting a little more comfortable with the playbook," he recalled. "After that, I showed with my actions, instead of just talking."

The 6-1, 190-pound rookie has been so impressive the past few weeks that he is bracketed second team with Prentiss Waggner at strong safety behind All-American Eric Berry. Naturally, seeing his name on the two-deep depth chart gave Myles a lift.

"I was excited, of course," he recalled. "I'm a freshman but I expected it coming in. I started off kind of slow but as practice went on I got better, got faster. I expected I was going to be in the rotation."

That expectation grew following the Aug. 22 scrimmage. Myles figured a promotion was forthcoming when he got a lot of positive feedback from a lot of guys in high places.

"I had a feeling after the last scrimmage because a lot of coaches was coming up to me, complimenting me, telling me I stepped up," he noted.

Though pleased to know he'll be in the secondary rotation for Game 1, Myles isn't surprised. He was Scout.com's No. 8 safety prospect in America last fall after a spectacular career at Carver High in Atlanta. And he was assured by UT head man Lane Kiffin during the recruiting process that he and the other freshmen would get an opportunity to contribute immediately.

"He told me he was going to give us a chance to play, and he's a man of his word," Myles said. "I had a feeling, with the NFL mentality coming into this program, that if you can play you're going to get on the field.

"There's no favoritism, and that's what everybody liked."


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