Tag Archives: Dontavis Sapp

Undrafted James Stone fighting for spot on Falcons (updates on Vols competing for NFL spots)

James Stone (photo by KNS photographer Michael Patrick)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeAntonio “Tiny” Richardson‘s NFL draft snub got most of the attention earlier this month, but there was another Tennessee offensive lineman who wasn’t selected.

Center James Stone signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons after the draft. Like most free agents, his path to a roster spot is uncertain, but Stone has a handful of factors working in his favor. He’s smart, he’s versatile and he has well-respected people vouching for him.

“In one year’s time with him, I was just really impressed with how smart of a player he is,” Vols offensive line coach Don Mahoney told ESPN. “And you have to look at his value to play two positions [center and guard]. I know that’s a big deal, with how many players they carry on a roster. And again, because of him mentally being able to be such a smart player, I think there’s just a tremendous upside to him.” 

Although more than a dozen Vols either worked out or signed free-agent deals after the draft, the NFL is so competitive that very few of them are likely to be rosters by the time the season starts. For many of the players in the group, getting a practice squad job would be beating the odds. Will Stone fare differently? We’ll find out.

Here are some updates on the rest of the Vols selected in the NFL draft or signed afterwards:

Currently on official NFL rosters…

Ja’Wuan James, selected in first round (19th overall) by Miami Dolphins…likely to open season as starter.

Zach Fulton, selected in sixth round (193rd overall) by Kansas City Chiefs….signed 4-year contract.

Daniel McCullers, selected in sixth round (215th overall) by Pittsburgh Steelers…signed 4-year contract.

Richardson….free-agent signee with Minnesota Vikings

Stone…free-agent signee with Atlanta Falcons

Dontavis Sapp…free-agent signee with Dallas Cowboys.

Rajion Neal…free-agent signee with Green Bay Packers

Jacques Smith…free-agent signee with Atlanta Falcons

Alex Bullard….free-agent signee with Detroit Lions

Others…

Michael Palardy…attended New York Jets minicamp.

Mo Couch….attended Dallas Cowboys minicamp

J.R. Carr….attended Washington Redskins minicamp

Corey Miller…attended Kansas City Chiefs minicamp

Butch Jones faces 1st off-field incident of his tenure after 9 Vols arrested or cited Sunday

The apartment complex where Knox County Sheriff’s deputies arrested or cited 25 people on Feb. 9, 2014. (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones learned on Sunday that not only were nine of his current players arrested or cited, but that some of his most trusted and experienced players were included on the list.

News Sentinel subscribers can read the full report of Sunday’s incident here.

Jones and his staff have likely spent the last 24 hours weighing how to react. After all, most of the players swept up in the massive police presence at Quarry Trail apartments were likely the victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Underage consumption of alcohol, while illegal, is something so common on college campuses as to barely register notice.

Allegations against A.J. Johnson and Danny O’Brien, as well as former player Dontavis Sapp, are more serious. But we don’t have any track record for how Jones handles off-the-field disciplinary matters, as this is believed to be the first arrest of his tenure.

Here’s the tally of the 12 current or former members of the Tennessee football team who were arrested or cited:

Current players

Arrested

LB A.J. Johnson: providing alcohol to underage persons; resisting arrest

DT Danny O’Brien: underage consumption of alcohol; resisting arrest; false impersonation

Cited

LB Curtis Maggitt: providing alcohol to underage persons

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin: providing alcohol to underage persons

LB Jakob Johnson: providing alcohol to underage persons

OL Dontavius Blair: underage drinking

DL Dimarya Mixon: underage drinking

CB Justin Coleman: underage drinking

DL Malik Brown: underage drinking

Former players

Arrested

Dontavis Sapp: providing alcohol to underage persons; resisting arrest

Isaac Mobley: underage drinking

Cited

Daniel Sola: underage drinking

Tennessee football position preview: Linebackers will be helped by return of Curt Maggitt, A.J. Johnson

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The seventh in a series of position-by-position reviews of the Tennessee football team with an eye toward the start of spring practice in March.

A.J. Johnson talks to reporters after the Kentucky game (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee A.J. Johnson‘s decision to return for his senior season in 2014 will give Tennessee two experienced leaders in the middle of the defense.

Curt Maggitt is back after missing all of 2013 as he recovered from ACL surgery.

Barring a huge surprise, Johnson and Maggitt will start. About two-thirds of the time, when UT is in nickel, there won’t be any need for a third linebacker. When the Vols are in a 4-3 set, there will be plenty of options to fill out the rotation.

Dontavis Sapp and converted safety Brent Brewer are the biggest losses from 2013. Four other longtime reserves are also moving on.

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Some good jabs at A.J. Johnson

A.J. Johnson (UT photo)

Practice regulars know that coach Butch Jones likes to rag on linebacker A.J. Johnson more than just about any other player.

During the stretching period on Tuesday, Jones mentioned a visiting scout from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“The Steelers are here to see (Dontavis) Sapp,” Jones said. “The Pittsburgh Gladiators are here to see A.J. Johnson.”

(The Gladiators are a now-defunct arena league team).

Tennessee football practice: Vols prepare for No. 19 Florida

Nathan Peterman throws to Jason Croom. #govolsxtra

A post shared by Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) on

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — One day after Butch Jones reopened the race for Tennessee’s starting quarterback job, he also decided to keep any secrets from leaking out about who the choice might be.

For the first time in recent memory, media were not allowed to video or photograph Tennessee’s practice on Tuesday. Jones allowed reporters to watch a small window of practice, but it offered no clue about the Vols’ quarterback race.

Unlike last week, when freshman Josh Dobbs worked with the scout team, all four quarterbacks were working out with the main unit.

Dobbs and fellow true freshman Riley Ferguson are pushing for playing time against starter Justin Worley and redshirt freshman backup Nathan Peterman.

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Tennessee football practice: After Monday practice, Vols get short break (video and photos)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Few argue that the offensive line is the strongest part of Tennessee’s football team.

Is it also the most important unit to the Vols’ success in 2013? John Adams weighs in with a column in today’s paper. I wrote about line coach Don Mahoney and how he worked to earn the trust of his new players. Brendan Quinn talked to running backs coach Robert Gillespie, who insists the Vols have no true No. 1 tailback.

The video is brief, because there wasn’t a whole lot to shoot on Monday. The Vols won’t have open practices on Tuesday or Wednesday. They’ll be back on the field Thursday, but camp is essentially over.

A few images from Monday:

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Tennessee football 2013 spring preview: Linebackers

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.

Curtis Maggitt is unlikely to do much this spring due a torn ACL suffered late last year, but there are plenty of contenders vying for the third starting linebacker spot alongside Maggitt and A.J. Johnson.


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