Tag Archives: Josh Smith

Tennessee spring practice 2014: The receivers

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With spring practice less than a week away, we’re revisiting some of our projections from the post-season. Today: the receivers. 

Receivers coach Zach Azzanni (right) talks to offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian during practice. (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There have a few changes which could alter the spring depth chart. First, here’s what I wrote a few months ago.

Marquez North emerged as a big-play threat in his freshman season with the Vols.

In an offense that struggled to throw downfield, he was sometimes the only big-play threat.

The good news is that North was still raw for much of his debut season and he should improve after a year of coaching.

Alton “Pig” Howard should hold down the slot position if he stays focused on off-the-field responsibilities. Coaches thought he turned a corner in maturity in the 2013 season, but they still have some lingering concerns about his ability to lead by example.

Jason Croom and Josh Smith shared the third receiver spot, although Croom began to pull away as the season progressed. I’m told there are no plans to move Croom to tight end, where he had worked some earlier in his career.

Only two players are leaving (see below). Vincent Dallas departed mid-season, while Josh Harris was the most surprisingly of the three players who were given their release earlier this month.

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Dallas had bounced between receiver and defensive back during his career. Harris was only a freshman, but his best chance to make an impact may have already come and gone during 2013.

There are reinforcements coming.

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Tennessee football position preview: Receivers will face competition from new faces

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

Receivers coach Zach Azzanni (right) talks to offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian during practice. (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeMarquez North emerged as a big-play threat in his freshman season with the Vols.

In an offense that struggled to throw downfield, he was sometimes the only big-play threat.

The good news is that North was still raw for much of his debut season and he should improve after a year of coaching.

Alton “Pig” Howard should hold down the slot position if he stays focused on off-the-field responsibilities. Coaches thought he turned a corner in maturity in the 2013 season, but they still have some lingering concerns about his ability to lead by example.

Jason Croom and Josh Smith shared the third receiver spot, although Croom began to pull away as the season progressed. I’m told there are no plans to move Croom to tight end, where he had worked some earlier in his career.

Only two players are leaving (see below). Vincent Dallas departed mid-season, while Josh Harris was the most surprisingly of the three players who were given their release earlier this month.

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Dallas had bounced between receiver and defensive back during his career. Harris was only a freshman, but his best chance to make an impact may have already come and gone during 2013.

There are reinforcements coming.

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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 WR Josh Smith is out for South Carolina

Jason Croom and Pig Howard warm up before the game. #govolsxtra

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Freshman receiver Josh Smith will miss Saturday’s game against South Carolina with an undisclosed injury.

Smith was held out of practice late this week. In the pregame, he watched from the sidelines in warmups and did not dress out.

Smith’s absence likely means more snaps for redshirt freshman Jason Croom, who has shared co-starter duties with Smith this year.

Tennessee practice highlights from Tuesday (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — This is a bye week, not an off-week, Tennessee coach Butch Jones reminded players (and media) on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s practice video includes plenty of receiver action, some offensive line blocks, some quarterbacks, some Young Jeezy and more.

Watch the video above in your highest available HD settings for best quality.

Fans snapping up $20 flex tickets; more than 90,000 sold for Austin Peay opener

Butch Jones

Butch Jones demonstrates a point during a special teams drill on Aug. 28, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Dynamically priced tickets — which can fluctuate throughout the season based on market demand — have helped drive the Vols over 90,000 tickets sold for Saturday’s opener against Austin Peay.

The Vols have sold about 5,800 of the 6,700 south end zone seats allotted for flex pricing, senior associate athletic director Chris Fuller said. Some of the sales have been to groups.

The tickets, which are limited to the highest rows of the upper deck, are priced at $20 each for this game. Other games are priced considerably higher, but the cost could fluctuate over the coming weeks.

Fuller said the Vols have sold about 58,000 season tickets, down from 59,700 a year ago.

The Vols drew an announced crowd of 87,821 in last year’s home opener against Georgia State. Fuller said just over 90,000 have been sold so far for the Austin Peay game, which is Butch Jones’ first as UT head coach.

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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 #PracticeGram: Scenes from this weekend’s scrimmage and practices

Josh Smith and Derrick Lett look like they've just witnessed something shocking.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols have pushed back Monday’s practice until the evening. Butch Jones has said it will be one of the most critical practices of camp, as Tennessee is only days away from shifting from training camp mode to game-prep mode.

We’ll have news, notes and quotes late this evening after practice. Then check back for video and photos.

The photos below include shots from Saturday evening’s scrimmage at Neyland Stadium and the Sunday practice at Haslam Field. Click on the photo for caption information.

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Tennessee football #PracticeGram: Scenes from Haslam Field

 

WR Jacob Carter, with QB Nathan Peterman in the background.

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After a physical two-a-day on Monday, the Vols return to the practice fields this afternoon at 3:40 p.m.

There will be another two-a-day on Wednesday before the team’s official media on Thursday afternoon at Neyland Stadium.

We wrote today about Vincent Dallas moving to cornerback and what it means for the Vols’ defensive depth, plus a full complement of notes and quotes. Don’t forget to check out our practice video, too. (Watch it in your highest HD setting for best results.)

Now on to the photos. Click on the image for caption information and follow me on Instagram for immediate post-practice photos.

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