Tag Archives: Channing Fugate

Tennessee 2014 recruiting: A look at the Vols’ needs after some additions and subtractions

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols have added an elite defensive lineman since we last took a big-picture view of their 2014 recruiting efforts.

The verbal commitment of DaVonte Lambert gives UT a highly rated player at a position of need (defensive line). Plus, he’ll come in with two years of junior college seasoning and thus be more likely to play right away.

UT also lost two players when veterans Naz Oliver, a defensive back, and Channing Fugate, a linebacker, decided to move on.

Fugate has landed back in his home state at Eastern Kentucky. Because both players are seniors, their departure doesn’t affect the 2014 recruiting calculus in any way.

With about five spots left, the Vols have essentially met all their needs except for the offensive line.

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Remember the projected numbers at each position aren’t written in stone and are merely estimates of what the average SEC team might want. Teams could easily get away with fewer than 14 offensive lineman, as that’s a developmental position and not one in which players start from Day 1. However, there are only 85 scholarship spots to play with. And if UT coaches would like to have, say, 15 receivers, as I believe they do, those numbers must be deducted somewhere else.

Finally, remember that coaches have a better handle on future attrition than we do. So their recruiting aims often prepare for inevitable departures that have yet to occur.

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Tennessee football practice: Observations from Saturday morning scrimmage

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There’s a nice symmetry to August. A bad performance by a unit one day is usually followed by a bounce-back performance the next afternoon.

Sometimes the coaches orchestrate the ups and downs. But on Saturday morning, the defense’s dominance appeared genuine.

In a wide-ranging, hour-long situational and special teams scrimmage at Haslam Field, the Vols defense clearly won the day.

Or at least the morning. There will be another scrimmage this evening at Neyland Stadium. Don’t be surprised if the offense looks better.

Plenty of meaty observations today…

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Tennessee football practice spring standouts (with new video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The best way to find out who is catching the coaches’ attention in practice?

Ask them.

The media had our weekly visit with assistant coaches after Thursday’s practice, the final one before spring break. (You can read other coverage from today here and here.)

When coaches are given an open-ended question about players, the  first name out of their mouths is the one I go with. Given enough time, coaches usually hit the entire roster in the name of diplomacy.

So who is standing out? Here are some names we heard:

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Video: The best linebacker hits of Tennessee practice this week


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — We’ve talked all spring about how new Tennessee coach Butch Jones likes to foster competition in every practice.


The result is a lot of intensity from players and — as you can see in the video from Tuesday above — from coaches.


It also makes practice infinitely more interesting for those of us watching on the sidelines. (Open practices are great and all, I used to joke, except for those two hours when you have to actually watch practice).


Whether it’s the newness of Jones’ system, the promise of new wrinkles on both sides of the ball or the looming personnel questions for the Vols in 2013, practices this spring have ranged from from mildly interesting to riveting. That’s not bad.


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