Tag Archives: Cody Blanc

Tennessee spring football Saturday roundup (photos, video, .gifs)

Butch Jones at practice on Saturday (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones started his tenure last spring with several practices forced indoors by chilly weather.

So perhaps the two brilliant days on Friday and Saturday are a good omen for his second season.

Jones didn’t talk to reporters on Saturday, as he handled Junior Day duties. But we did have interesting interviews with Corey Vereen, Marquez North, Cameron Sutton and others.

You can read all our coverage on GoVolsXtra, although some content is for subscribers only.

You’ll want to check out at least the beginning of today’s practice video for some solid one-on-one footage.

Here’s some of what I wrote about Sutton, who has been victimized by the Von Pearson show so far in spring camp:

Tennessee sophomore cornerback Cameron Sutton made some nice stops during drills on Saturday morning, but he’s having hard time forgetting one play on which he was burned badly Friday night.

In that play, junior college newcomer Von Pearson caught a pass near the sidelines, juked left and then turned upfield, all but buckling the knees of Sutton, normally one of the Vols’ fastest and most reliable defensive backs.

Why can’t Sutton forget it?

Because it’s playing on a loop over and over again in the Tennessee football football facility as part of the daily practice highlights.

“He’s shifty,” Sutton said of Pearson.

When Jones said the 14 early-enrolled newcomers would elevate the level of competition in spring camp, this is what he had in mind.

Not only will players like Pearson and highly rated freshman receiver Josh Malone create new competition at receiver, they’ll also be providing tougher daily tests for the secondary.

I also wrote about Vereen, who lived up to Butch Jones’ billing as a serious and studious worker. Here’s a snippet from his interview, and a little bit of Marlin Lane.

Offensive graduate assistant Nick Sheridan on Saturday (photo by Evan Woodbery)

The Vols didn’t have much coaching staff turnover during the offseason, but they did welcome a new offensive graduate assistant in Nick Sheridan, who will work a lot with the quarterbacks.

Sheridan is a former Michigan quarterback who last worked at South Florida.

Check out more photos and .gifs after the jump. Or click here for a link to the full gallery.

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Tennessee-Vanderbilt pre-game updates (with photos)

The field-level view from Neyland Stadium before the Vanderbilt game (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — As promised, it’s chilly and windy as Tennessee prepares to kick off against Vanderbilt.

Here are a few quick pre-game notes and photos…

* Freshman tight end A.J. Branisel and defensive tackle Trevarris Saulsberry were both on crutches in the pre-game walk-through. It looks like receiver Cody Blanc will also be out.

Branisel’s absence could leave Joe Stocstill as the next option behind starter Brendan Downs.

* Take one name off the list of seniors to be honored today. Fourth-year junior Gregory Grieco will be back next year, we’re told. That means 27 players will be recognized.

Butch Jones walks with his players before the game (photo by Evan Woodbery)

Pre-game view of Neyland

Graduate assistant Larry Knight (left) and quality control assistant Terry Fair before the game (by Evan Woodbery)

Condredge Holloway visits with a staff member before the game

UT senior associate athletic director Mike Vollmar

Tennessee football practice: Vols back for Day 2 of camp

Drae Bowles, GIF

Tennessee receiver Drae Bowles bobbles and nearly catches a pass in practice on Friday. (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s football team went through the second day of training camp on Saturday at Haslam Field.

The weather cooperated again. Those summer thunder showers that seem to strike every afternoon have stayed away.

We’ll have more after the post-practice interviews, including notes and quotes from players and coaches. For now, a few quick thoughts.

* The receivers, as a whole, look better than they did in the spring. Part of the reason is that there are simply more of them, so more reps are going to scholarship players. Freshman Paul Harris has clearly improved. Justin Croom has looked fairly sharp. Among the newcomers, I’m not sure anyone has stood out. MarQuez North and Josh Smith have both struggled with stuff at times, but also have shown promise.

* Linebacker/tight end/fullback Justin King was in the injury cage again today, although based on some of the physical work he was doing, I can’t imagine he’ll be there for long. He was joined by linebacker Christian Harris.

* Receiver Cody Blanc was responsible for “winning” the opening part of practice for the offense by catching a short pass in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown.

Otherwise, I’m not sure they’re “keeping score” of these early practices like they were in the spring. If they are, they’re certainly not advertising the winners and losers. We may see some more hitting and Oklahoma drills later in camp. (Or given the precarious depth in some areas, maybe we won’t).

* We heard Butch call out Daniel McCullers for the first time this camp. (See the story about him in today’s paper). But while he left tight end Woody Quinn — Friday’s whipping boy — alone, he did target two freshmen tight ends for walking. “Coach Mark Elder,” he yelled over the mic to the tight ends coach. “Your two freshmen are walking!”

Tennessee football #PracticeGram: Photos from Saturday’s scrimmage


Photo by ewoodbery


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Our award-winning* #PracticeGram feature is back for another day. 


I have a new app on my phone that makes it easy to get frame-by-frame captures, and I went sort of crazy on the sidelines.


My favorite sequence is above and below. Cody Blanc goes up for a pass from Justin Worley, but it zips over or through his hands.


And comes shooting right toward me (below). Luckily I flinched just in time to avoid it hitting me in the, uh, midsection.




Photo by ewoodbery

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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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Tennessee’s first scrimmage under Butch Jones goes down to the wire

Thumbnail image for butch-jones-presser.JPGKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A lengthy “situational scrimmage” Saturday at Neyland Stadium featured live tackling on everyone except quarterbacks, offering a glimpse at Tennessee’s progress through one week of practice under new coach Butch Jones.


Officially, the offense won 90-89. Or something like that. We’ll try to offer as much detail on the scoring system as possible in the notes below, but to the naked eye, the points seemed a bit…uh…arbitrary. UPDATE: Maybe the defense actually won! See the notes on the controversial final play below.

The weather was gorgeous — sunny and about 65 degrees — but a stiff wind at the stadium played havoc with the kicking and passing games.

That said, both quarterbacks — junior Justin Worley and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman — seemed to have a pretty solid day.

My unofficial MVP of Saturday? Receiver Cody Blanc, who seemed to be pulling down passes every time we looked up. More on him later.

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Tennessee football 2013 spring preview: Wide receivers


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s first spring football season under new coach Butch Jones begins Saturday.

In the days leading up to the start of practice, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the Vols as they embark on a new season.

The receiving corps is among the most depleted areas on the team. There are promising youngsters on the roster, but will they be enough?

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