Tag Archives: Devrin Young

A fresh look at Tennessee’s spring roster with new faces, new positions

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Consider the roster a handy guide for Tennessee spring football, which starts on Friday.

As we wrote earlier today on GoVolsXtra, receiver Alton “Pig” Howard will miss spring ball due to what were described as personal reasons. Additionally, Vols coach Butch Jones confirmed that freshman Neiko Creamer would start the spring at linebacker, while Devrin Young would be listed as a running back.

The net result, at least on paper, is that the receiving corps won’t look as robust as it might have a few weeks ago. But that should provide plenty of opportunities for Josh Malone and Von Pearson, who will be two of the most-watched players of spring camp.

The roster above includes updated numbers (Creamer moved from No. 82 to 31) but not new weights. Click on each of the tabs to see a breakdown by position, listed in a very, very rough depth chart.

Devrin Young’s quiet — but remarkable — 2013 season

Devrin Young warms up before a game earlier this season (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Wide receiver Devrin Young‘s junior season at Tennessee was slowed by a hand injury.

The Knoxville native had a hard time cracking the rotation at slot receiver, where he was behind starter Alton “Pig” Howard and impressive newcomer Johnathon Johnson.

Most of Young’s playing time came as a punt returner.

But a review of the News Sentinel’s snap-by-snap database shows that Young maximized every snap he played on the field.

Snaps per game
Auburn 3
Austin Peay 9
Kentucky 13
South Carolina 3
Vanderbilt 3
Total 31

Young played only 31 offensive snaps in 2013. When Young was on the field, the Vols collected 336 yards. That’s an average of 10.84 yards per play. No one else on the roster was even close to that mark.

Obviously, the small sample size is important here. And this statistic is more a curiosity than anything meaningful.

But it’s still amazing the way that Young had a knack for being on the field when the Vols’ offense made a big play.

Young was on the field for gains of 32, 43, 40 and 37 yards.

But it wasn’t only big plays that skewed his numbers. Young was on the field for 13 plays of 10 yards or greater. 

One more crazy stat: Young finished the year with six catches for 79 yards.

That means he caught a pass on 19 percent of the snaps in which he participated. He was on the field for only 14 pass plays, meaning he caught a pass on 43 percent of those snaps.

What does this mean for Young’s future? Perhaps not much.

Young will be a senior in 2014, and with an influx of new receivers arriving this spring and summer, Young will have to fight for every snap he gets in his last season.

But he deserves credit for making the best use of every moment he was on the field in 2013.

A roundup of Tennessee-Alabama week in videos

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols are headed to Alabama for their showdown with the No. 1 Crimson Tide.

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by CBS. Most lines have Tennessee as a 28.5-point underdog.

The video above is our early-week preview.  The video below includes practice highlights from Tuesday’s session in which we first learned about “the red team.”

The final video is new team member Ben Frederickson‘s debut on our weekly Double Coverage segment.

If you have any questions or topics you want us to cover on future segments, just let me know by email or Twitter.

Injury update: Josh Smith, Devrin Young, Alex Bullard

Josh Smith in practice earlier this year (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Vols freshman receiver Josh Smith, nursing a hamstring injury, didn’t participate in the portion of practice open to media.

Smith did dress out and participate in walk-throughs, and coach Butch Jones said he expected Smith would be able to play Saturday against No. 1 Alabama.

Receiver Devrin Young, who returned from a hand injury against South Carolina, went through practice without a green injury and without any apparent limitations.

Offensive lineman Alex Bullard, who sat out the first three series of the South Carolina game due at least in part to disciplinary reasons, has also been bothered by an apparent foot injury. But he looked fine in Tuesday’s practice.

Vols’ depth chart changes for Alabama game

Devrin Young (News Sentinel photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There were some minor changes to Tennessee’s official depth chart released on Monday morning.

Devrin Young is now listed as the backup slot receiver behind Alton “Pig” Howard, supplanting Johnathon Johnson.

Freshman defensive end Corey Vereen is now listed as the third Leo end behind starter Jacques Smith and Jordan Williams.

Linebacker Curt Maggitt, who hasn’t played all year as he recovers from ACL surgery, is no longer listed as a backup on the depth chart. Christian Harris, John Propst and Greg King are all in the two-deep behind starters A.J. Johnson, Dontavis Sapp and Brent Brewer.

Freshman Malik Foreman now top kick returner for Vols

Malik Foreman (UT photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When receiver Vincent Dallas left the football program last week, it opened up a spot on Tennessee’s kickoff return team.

True freshman cornerback Malik Foreman will get first crack at the job.

Foreman is listed with JaRon Toney in the Vols’ new depth chart.

There were no other changes.

Devrin Young, who started the season as the top kickoff returner, is expected to return to practice this week. He broke a bone in his hand early in the season.

Dallas averaged 22.2 yards on 13 returns this year. His long return was 36 yards.

Vols offense lagging, but special teams offering a boost


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — We’ll publish our weekly By the Numbers feature for News Sentinel subscribers later today and it should offer some really interesting data on the Florida game.

For now let’s take a big-picture look at Tennessee’s performance through four games this year.

I like checking out the weekly UPS/STATS Team Performance Index. You can view the details on the webpage, but it essentially tries to combine offense, defense, special teams and “miscues” and weigh that against the strength of the team’s schedule.

Tennessee's national rankings in parentheses.

Tennessee’s national rankings in parentheses.

As might be expected, the Vols fared well in special teams and “miscues,” but poorly against offense and defense. The rankings will become more meaningful as the season goes on. For now, they’re merely interesting.  And they confirm that South Alabama is no pushover.

Tennessee’s strength on special teams has more to do with the kicking and coverage teams than it does with any big returns.

On kickoffs, Tennessee is forcing opponents to start from the 24 or 25-yard line on kickoffs with an average net of just over 40.

Take away a blocked punt and the Vols have a very respectable 38.5 net average.

The return game has been more sluggish, particularly after an injury to Devrin Young.

On kickoffs, the Vols average 24.9 yards per return (boosted by a 58-yard return by Young in the opener) and an average starting starting field position at the 28 (based on kickoffs alone and not considering penalties).

On punts, the Vols have only attempted to return five times in 16 attempts. Opponents are netting 39.7 yards per punt.

Finally, it’s always worth monitoring tempo. For obvious reasons, the Vols haven’t gone as fast as coach Butch Jones and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian would like.

For comparison purposes, UT had 2.7 plays and 2.17 live-ball plays per minute in 2012. (Live-ball plays are

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Tennessee football practice: Goodbye Daniel McCullers, Hello Dan McCullers


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The pre-practice stretch period is a time when Butch Jones usually imparts serious messages. So there was a look of mild concern among players when he announced, “I want you to know, I cut somebody today.”

He was met by silence.

“Do you know who I cut?”

More silence.

“Look around and see who’s missing.”

Finally, players caught on. No. 98 Daniel McCullers was gone.

In his place, was No. 63.

“I want everyone to welcome No. 63, Dan McCullers to the team,” Jones said.

Everyone started clapping. The media put down their rosters and stopped  hunting for a missing player.

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Tennessee football practice: Vols return after a 2-day break

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After 48 hours away from the practice fields, players returned on Thursday to higher expectations from coach Butch Jones.

“Nice and fresh!” he yelled. “You oughtta be nice and fresh.”

We’ll find out later if Jones noticed any rejuvenation. For now, here are some post-practice notes:

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Tennessee football practice: As dusk falls, Vols go one-on-one

Tennessee receivers

Vols receivers work on their hands during a JUGS gun drill in practice on Tuesday. (Photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols went through “Tennessee tough” drills this evening, which are usually some sort of one-on-one blocking or tackling drills.

In most cases, there’s a well-defined winner and loser. (Alas, most of the drills were obscured by players and not in an ideal video-shooting area.).

My favorite part came when walk-on defensive lineman Charles Folger was matched with freshman Brett Kendrick for a one-on-one drill. I’m not sure if he was being serious or sarcastic, but Folger called for Antonio “Tiny” Richardson to go against him. Tiny’s response: “You ain’t ready for me. Take the freshman, boy.”

The horn sounded just before Folger and Kendrick were to go against each other, much to the disappointment of Folger. 

We’ll have more notes and quotes from coaches, plus more photos and videos, late tonight and Wednesday morning.

* The camp gods giveth and taketh away. On Monday, freshman receiver Josh Smith was working with the first team. A day later, he was the lone player in the “Hole,” the fenced area for rehabbing injured players.

* In receiver drills, we saw a couple of really nice catches by Jason Croom and a good one by Devrin Young. Rough day for Paul Harris.

We’ll get some perspective from receivers coach Zach Azzanni after practice.