Tennessee football practice: Vols emphasize ‘great efforts’ in Western Kentucky prep


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Butch Jones was in comedian mode on Tuesday afternoon, and UT linebacker A.J. Johnson was the subject of his barbs.

You see, Western Kentucky has an A.J., too. Linebacker Andrew Jackson is apparently an NFL prospect, although I had never heard of him until Monday. (Jackson needs to hire Jones as his agent, because Jones has been talking him up nonstop).

Anyway, here are some of the one-liners from practice today.

“A.J., you get to play on the same field as an NFL linebacker!”

“This A.J. (Jackson) is a first-round draft pick; you’re a practice-squad guy.”

(To equipment man) “Can you get me a white football for this Saturday? My son wants to get Andrew Jackson’s autograph.”

* The theme of practice on Tuesday was “63.” That’s six seconds per play with three great efforts. Or something along those lines. Look for plenty of “63”  references on our practice video.

* Linebacker Curt Maggitt is no longer wearing a green non-contact jersey. That’s happened before, but with game week approaching, it might be more meaningful.

* Neither junior Marcus Jackson nor true freshman Dylan Wiesman played on Saturday, although both players went through practice normally on Tuesday and remained members of the second-team unit. That doesn’t mean a redshirt is a certainty for either player, but it does mean that it remains on the table as an option. And coaches probably decided they didn’t want to remove that option for a blowout against Austin Peay.

* Unless my eyes deceived me, Michael F. Williams and Michael L. Williams were the only two players in the injured area. Receiver Ryan Jenkins may be getting better, but he was wearing a scout team jersey on Tuesday.