KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — With fatigue setting in on players going through their fourth consecutive day of practice, Tennessee coach Butch Jones decided to throw out the normal script and launch right into 11-on-11 team work.
“I knew I needed to do something to jump-start practice and get their juices flowing, so to speak,” Jones said after Monday evening’s session.
(You can read some of our initial observations here).
Repeating a consistent theme, Jones said he’ll be watching to see which players have a “sense of urgency” as camp goes on.
“The hour glass has turned over,” he said. “Time is critical.”
Freshmen receivers Marquez North and, more surprisingly, Josh Smith were working with the ones during the team work, and although depth charts are extremely fluid at this point, that has to be somewhat meaningful.
“I’m not surprised,” Jones said of the young receivers. “I’m really encouraged about this entire freshman class.”
On defense, walk-on Max Arnold was a first-team safety. Although safeties LaDarrell McNeil and Byron Moore are out due to injury, coaches clearly have confidence in Arnold.