Raving about Wylie

HOOVER, Ala. - After completing their first off season with Bennie Wylie, the Tennessee player are singing the praises of the new strength and conditioning coach. Read what they had to say at SEC Media Days.

Bennie Wylie may be the fourth strength coach for Tennessee's seniors since they began their journey as Volunteers, but there is no doubt he rises above the rest.

Wylie has been the recipient of abundant praise from Tennessee players during SEC Media Days.

"We have had four strength coaches, and he is the best, incredible," said linebacker Nick Reveiz. "He goes above and beyond."

With new coaches come new expectations, goals and competition. Wylie has approached the weight room differently. Players didn't have to earn the respect of Wylie. The new strength coach just showed the players how it's done.

"The thing is when he came in he embraced us. He didn't come in and start yelling at us and say, ‘Listen you have to prove this to me,' " Reveiz said. "We have three groups, he runs with all three groups, the conditioning part, and he lifts as hard as he can with one group."

Reveiz said jokingly that Head Coach Derek Dooley is hoping that Wylie would provide a bit of intimidation to opposing teams.

"You all have seen him," Reveiz said with a laugh. "Coach Dooley was saying he is the guy we want getting off the bus first, people thinking that he is playing."

Senior defensive lineman Chris Walker said the fact that Wylie participates in his own workouts is what sets him apart from others in the profession.

"He brings a dynamic to our team that we needed, a strength coach that gets out there and does everything with us and that brings us together," Walker said.

The senior also approaches Wylie about a lot more than just football and conditioning.

"Coach Wylie is more than a strength coach to us," Walker said. "He is a guy that really wants the best for us on and off the field. He has been a guy that has been a great role model for me that I can go and talk to besides football."

Senior tight end Luke Stocker echoed Walker's thoughts almost exactly when asked about Wylie.

"I think it is really special that he actually runs with every position group," Stocker said. "He does the running with everyone and that speaks volumes to how dedicated he is to the job."

Reveiz got an early start on getting to know Wylie. After going through rehab, the linebacker returned to the field during spring camp and spent extra time with Wylie, accelerating his rehabilitation. Reveiz said he feels better than he did before he was injured.

"I haven't felt this good since before I got hurt," Reveiz said. "I am ready to go."

The Volunteers were hindered by several ACL injuries during 2009. Reveiz, Toney Williams and Savion Frazier all suffered season-ending injuries, but that may have offered as much encouragement as anything during rehab.

"Its been good because all of us have been about two months apart as far as knee injuries, Toney was in front of me and Savion was behind me," Reveiz said.

"It's cool because with Toney I could look at him and say, ‘OK, he is this far down the road and I could look at him and see where I wanted to be.' And with Savion behind me I could encourage him. Like when I was running and he couldn't run yet I just told him he was almost there and to keep pushing and fighting."


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