Tag Archives: Jason Carr

Updating the Vols roster after recent changes, including departure of 6 more walk-ons

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Six more walk-on players have apparently moved on as Tennessee’s roster undergoes a typical post-spring evolution.

The following walk-ons are no longer listed on the official roster: Offensive lineman John Simcox, a third-year sophomore from Kingsport; punter/kicker Ryan Ault, a third-year sophomore from Brentwood; linebacker Logan Cavendar, a Tennessee Tech transfer from Fairview; running back Chris Beck, a native of Austell, Ga., and transfer from Dean College in Franklin, Mass; defensive back Devin Williams, a redshirt freshman from Austin-East in Knoxville; and tight end Greg Tisho, a redshirt freshman from Cherokee, N.C.

Of the six, only Simcox had played in a game for the Vols. He entered as a reserve in 2013. Two other players were deleted from the roster earlier this week.

The roster above reflects the changes. You can see the full spreadsheet here.

We’ve made a few other minor changes.

Sophomore Jason Carr is now listed as an offensive tackle, giving the Vols a projected 11 scholarship offensive linemen in 2014 and a projected 17 scholarship defensive linemen.

We’ve also deleted JaRon Toney from the scholarship roster. Unofficially, UT has 82 players on scholarship, although that number is impossible to verify. If all goes as planned, expect one, two or three current walk-ons to be placed on scholarship by August.

Finally, the changes have shifted the geographic midpoint of the Vols’ scholarship roster to Calhoun, Ga. Why does that sound familiar? It’s the hometown of former Vol receiver Da’Rick Rogers.

An updated look at Tennessee’s spring depth chart at the break

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Tennessee football team is on spring break, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are in the NCAA tournament and I’m taking a few days off this week.

But the break is a good time to review the spring depth charts we unveiled a couple of weeks ago. The depth charts are still unofficial — and very speculative — but we have a lot more to go on than we did before spring began.

The scrimmage on Friday provided some useful guidance, although I tried not to overreact to individual performances — especially at volatile positions like quarterback.

You can see the full depth charts above. Listen below for my take on the Friday scrimmage.

Read on for a summary of some of the changes I made to the charts.

* Receivers are cross-training at several positions right now, and with only eight on scholarship, they all got significant looks in the scrimmage. The actual order is more difficult to decipher.

* At running back, I bumped Alden Hill and Justus Pickett up a notch. Hill risks being a spring hero for the second year in a row, but perhaps he can translate that spring production into more fall playing time in 2014.

* It’s not clear how serious the injury to Jason Carr is, but his absence leaves the Vols with only four scholarship defensive tackles. (Is it too late to get Gregory Clark to change his mind?) Developing better depth at that position will be crucial this summer.

* Freshman walk-on Colton Jumper soared up the depth chart after he played quite a bit on the second-team defense. That could be due to injuries, message-sending or just the fact that Jumper has had a really good spring. Jalen Reeves-Maybin seems to have a good hold on the third linebacker spot, but he will face challenges from new arrivals this summer.

* The defensive backs depth chart has a little more clarity, as we got a good look at the first and second teams in nickel sets. Brian Randolph will reclaim one of those starting safety roles when he returns from injury.

Tennessee reserve defensive tackle Gregory Clark ending career

Gregory Clark (UT photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee fifth-year senior defensive tackle Gregory Clark is moving on with his post-college career and won’t be on the Vols’ roster in 2014.

Coach Butch Jones confirmed that Clark was moving on.

A native of Warner Robins, Ga., Clark emerged as a valuable backup on a depleted defensive line in 2013. Pressed into action after Mo Couch was declared ineligible, Clark teamed with Danny O’Brien in the second-team tackle unit.

The 2013 season was the highlight of what had previously been an undistinguished career. Clark redshirted in 2010 and was a little-used reserve in 2011 and 2012.

The Vols could be thin again at defensive tackle, particularly in the spring before reinforcements arrive this summer. Danny O’Brien, Jason Carr and newcomers Owen Williams and Dimarya Mixon are likely to make up the two-deep rotation.

Unofficially, Tennessee now has 84 scholarship players, including players who were believed to sign National Letters of Intent in February. Here’s the complete and fully updated spring roster.

Tennessee football position preview: Defensive line will be deep, but very inexperienced

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

Jordan Williams will be the most experienced returning player on the defensive line (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee is losing six seniors who accounted for roughly 70 percent of the team’s snaps on its defensive line.

Some of the team’s most visible leaders are included among that group.

But while the outlook for 2014 is challenging, it’s not entirely hopeless. A large crop of newcomers will be pushed to compete for playing time immediately. Just as important, a group of inexperienced returning players will be asked to seize a fresh opportunity for playing time.

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Among the departing players, Daniel Hood and Daniel McCullers might be among the most difficult to immediately replace. Big tackles usually don’t just arrive on campus. They are grown and develop over time. 

Jacques Smith, Corey Miller and Marlon Walls also capped their careers with solid senior seasons in 2013.

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A look at Tennessee’s 2013 class: Who played, who will take a redshirt (chart)

Receiver Johnathon Johnson goes up for a catch during warmups at Missouri earlier this year (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Two members of Tennessee’s 2013 class played in all 12 games this year.

One is easy to guess. The other is much more difficult.

Freshman cornerback Cameron Sutton was likely the most pleasant surprise of the hastily assembled 2013 class, starting every game and emerging as perhaps the Vols’ most trusted defensive back.

Who also played in every game? Freshman safety Lemond Johnson was a special teams regular, despite (as far as I can tell) not playing a single snap on defense.

(Note: Freshman walk-on Devaun Swafford also played in all 12 games. Thanks to @donnieconley for the catch).

Receivers Marquez North, Josh Smith and Johnathon Johnson also played important roles in 2013. Some who I expected to have a major impact — like tight end Woody Quinn and cornerback Riyahd Jones hardly played at all.

As Tennessee welcomes a huge signing class in 2014, it’s worth remembering how difficult it is project freshman performance. Even arriving early is no guarantee of success. Of the five players who enrolled early and went through spring practice in 2013, only one made an impact beyond special teams. That would be defensive end Corey Vereen.

 Who can take a redshirt?

Officially, six players did not take a snap and are eligible for a redshirt season: Offensive linemen Brett Kendrick and Austin Sanders, defensive ends Malik Brown and Kendal Vickers, quarterback Riley Ferguson and receiver Ryan Jenkins.

Jenkins is battling a worrisome chronic injury, so it will be interesting to see how or if he responds in spring. The linemen weren’t needed immediately and got a chance to bulk up and work out during the season. Ferguson was on call until the very end, but ultimately survived the season with his redshirt intact.

In theory, there are two more defensive linemen who would be eligible for a medical hardship waiver — sometimes called a medical redshirt — if they sustained documented injuries during the season. Jason Carr and Jaylen Miller played in only three games (all during the first half of the season).

I’m not sure UT intends to request waivers for either player, however, because coaches didn’t “sell” the hypothetical “injuries” very aggressively during the year. In fact, Carr was even mentioned as a possible option to play late in the year.

We’ll find out soon enough whether Carr and Miller enter 2014 as sophomores or redshirt freshmen.

 

Name High school Position 247Sports Composite rating Games played Games started
Marquez North Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.) WR 0.9574 11 11
Joshua Dobbs Alpharetta (Alpharetta, Ga.) QB 0.9276 5 4
Jason Carr White Station (Memphis, Tenn.) DL 0.9197 3 0
Jalen Reeves-Maybin Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.) S/LB 0.9051 11 0
Ryan Jenkins Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) WR 0.8832 0 0
Austin Sanders Bradley Central (Cleveland, Tenn.) OL 0.8793 0 0
Riley Ferguson Butler (Matthews, N.C.) QB 0.8741 0 0
Paul Harris Frederick Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.) WR 0.868 5 0
Corey Vereen West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.) DE 0.8678 9 0
Lemond Johnson Cooper City (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) S 0.8656 12 0
Cameron Sutton Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.) CB 0.8625 12 12
Jaylen Miller Gaffney (Gaffney, S.C.) DL 0.8566 3 0
A.J. Branisel Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School (Chardon, Ohio) TE 0.8503 10 0
Johnathon Johnson Friendswood (Friendswood, Texas) WR 0.84 10 2
Malik Brown Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) DE 0.8387 0 0
Dylan Wiesman Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio) OL 0.8352 10 0
Brett Kendrick Christian Academy of Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.) OL 0.8296 0 0
Malik Foreman Dobyns Bennett (Kingsport, Tenn.) CB 0.829 9 0
Riyahd Jones Carver High (Columbus, Ga.) CB 0.8262 2 0
Josh Smith Christian Academy of Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.) WR 0.821 11 4
Woody Quinn St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) TE 0.8091 2 0
Kendal Vickers Havelock (Havelock, N.C.) DE 0.7997 0 0
Jabo Lee Dillon High (Dillon, S.C.) RB

Tennessee recruiting: Vols have needs but also flexibility on defensive line

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Butch Jones watches practice last week (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s aggressive recruiting efforts show no signs of slowing, even as the Vols push past the 30-man limit in their class.

Cory Thomas was the latest player to verbally commit to the 2014 class.

Here’s a look at Tennessee’s class within the context of its current roster. Be sure to check out the disclaimer and details below.

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I’ve tweaked the breakdown above, adding a section for roster non-contributors. These are players who are in at least their second year in the program and have not contributed and don’t appear close to contributing right now. I didn’t want to single anyone out, but in order to provide a clear picture of the recruiting efforts, those numbers needed to be considered.

The usual caveat applies: This is a speculative exercise and may not match UT’s goals, strategy, etc.

The only major issue remains at defensive tackle, but that’s somewhat misleading, as many defensive tackles start their career at end.

Daniel McCullers (facing camera) chats with Trevarris Saulsberry before the Auburn game.

Even so, with Daniel McCullers and Daniel Hood graduating, the Vols would love to have more depth inside — both on the current roster, and in the 2014 class.

Who could grow into a defensive tackle? Anyone, really, including several options on the current roster. But if you’re looking for a big run-stuffer in the mold of McCullers, the options are more limited.

Dimarya Mixon (6-3, 265) is the only player listed as a tackle among the current group of commitments.

DaVonte Lambert (listed at 6-3, 275), Derek Barnett (6-3, 265), Thomas (6-6, 270) and DeWayne Hendrix (6-5 254) are all big ends, while Joe Henderson (6-3, 228) is in the lighter, weak-side mold.

Obviously, all heights and weights should be taken with a grain of salt, but compare those numbers to Hood (6-4, 277), McCullers (6-8, 351) and reserve tackle Trevarris Saulsberry (6-4, 291). Except for McCullers, the differences aren’t immense.

Marlon Walls (6-2, 272) is mainly an end now, although he’s played tackle before and frequently will move inside on passing downs when speed rushers come in.

Vols freshman tackle Jason Carr (6-5, 285) played briefly this year but will have a chance to earn more playing time in 2014.

Long story short, will defensive tackle be a concern in 2014? Probably. A crisis? Perhaps not.

Tennessee football practice: Goodbye Daniel McCullers, Hello Dan McCullers

Butch Jones says we should be grilling out today.

A post shared by Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) on

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’s 2 ‘soft’ verbals: Jason Carr is on board, but Dan Skipper still a mystery

danskipper.JPGKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — While Tennessee coach Butch Jones will target plenty of high-profile prospects over the 12 days between now and National Signing Day, two of the most important signatures he wants are from players who have been committed all along.

Defensive lineman Jason Carr of Memphis and offensive lineman Dan Skipper of Colorado have long been called “soft commitments,” meaning they are technically committed to Tennessee but have opted to look around.

After flirting with Alabama, Carr has reaffirmed his commitment to UT, moving him into the “hard commitment” category, according to most observers. There had been some talk that he might even visit Knoxville this week to help recruit others.

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Everything you need to know about Tennessee’s busy recruiting weekend

carl-lawson-247sports.jpgKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — New Tennessee coach Butch Jones hosted about a dozen players in Knoxville this weekend, but fans also had to monitor important visits from key targets who were taking trips elsewhere.

No public commitments emerged from the weekend, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of news to catch up on.

Let’s run down what happened in the second-to-last weekend before National Signing Day on Feb. 6.

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