Tag Archives: J.R. Carr

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

Long snapper Riley Lovingood — yes, a long snapper — is newest 2015 commitment

Butch Jones, adding a brick.

Butch Jones, adding a brick.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s becoming more and more common to see long snappers earn scholarships.

But adding one almost a year before National Signing Day is more unusual.

Even so, the Vols opted to accept a verbal commitment on Saturday from Riley Lovingood, a junior from Beech High in Hendersonville. (That’s Jalen Hurd‘s alma mater). Lovingood is considered one of the nation’s top snappers and his ties to Tennessee make him unlikely to waiver.

 

Coaching staffs are increasingly finding that it takes a scholarship to lure the nation’s top snappers.

Wesley Horky, who was all set to walk-on at Tennessee, was snatched up by Oklahoma just a week ago.

Matt Giampapa is the leading candidate to win the snapping job in 2014. Butch Jones has said that J.R. Carr‘s graduation leaves a large gap at the position — not just in snapping, but also overall special teams play. Carr had five tackles on special teams in 2013.

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Long snapper Wesley Horky commits to walk on Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Long snapper Wesley Horky has said he’s accepted an invitation to be an invited walk-on at Tennessee.

Horky, who attends Ravenwood High in Brentwood, is considered one of the nation’s top long snappers.

The Vols lost snapper J.R. Carr to graduation. Horky, Matt Giampapa and possibly others will compete to replace him.

Tennessee football position preview: Specialist spots have vacancies after Michael Palardy’s departure

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

Michael Palardy hugs coach Butch Jones after Tennessee’s win against South Carolina (KNS photo by Adam Lau).

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeMichael Palardy handled punts, kickoffs and field goals for the Vols in 2013, and his departure leaves no clear successor.

Incoming freshman Aaron Medley will have every opportunity to win the kicking job. He’s a well-regarded prospect, although projecting kickers from high school to college is much harder than it seems.

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Medley could face competition from veteran walk-on Derrick Brodus and another local product, George Bullock, whose career has never gotten on track after an injury as a freshman.

As for the punter spot, Matt Darr has the most experience, but a couple of walk-ons could challenge him.

Reliable snapper J.R. Carr has graduated, but Matt Giampapa has waited his turn after transferring from Michigan State, where he snapped in 2011.

A note on this series: As National Signing Day approaches, we reviewed each of Tennessee’s positions with an eye toward spring football in 2014. Click on the links for previews of the offensive linerunning backsreceiversquarterbackstight endsdefensive linelinebackers and defensive backs. Now that the previews are finished, it’s time to go back and adjust the spreadsheets to add new commitments and walk-ons. Then we’ll produce a master roster and speculative depth chart for the whole team. Once spring football gets underway, we’ll keep the chart updated so it remains as close to the real depth chart as possible.