Tag Archives: Marlin Lane

After departure of Alden Hill, Vols still have plenty of options in backfield

Alden Hill goes through a drill this spring (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Running back Alden Hill announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the football program.

The third-year sophomore reserve would likely have found it tough to get reps in the increasingly crowded Tennessee backfield.

The Vols are likely to have five scholarship running backs on the roster in 2014, including seniors Marlin Lane and Devrin Young. Three true freshman, including early arrival Jalen Hurd, are also in the fold. Plus, the Vols have added depth from walk-ons Justus Pickett, Chris Beck and Deanthonie Summerhill.

The Vols have only 11 players remaining from the Class of 2012, the last group signed and recruited by Derek Dooley and his staff.

They are: defensive end LaTroy Lewis, defensive tackle Danny O’Brien, linebacker Justin King, linebacker Kenny Bynum, quarterback Nathan Peterman, receiver Jason Croom, receiver Drae Bowles, receiver Cody Blanc and kicker George Bullock. Receiver Alton “Pig” Howard is currently on leave from the program and his future status is uncertain.

Unofficially, the Vols now have 83 players on scholarship.

Vols bounce back to practice with fast tempo, big hits (video, photos, .gifs)

Running backs Marlin Lane (left) and Devrin Young (photo by Evan Woodbery).

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee senior running back Marlin Lane was back at practice on Tuesday after using the spring break to rest his injured left wrist.

Coach Butch Jones said Lane would still be limited in the remaining spring sessions, but his presence alone was a positive sign.

Jones also plenty of good things to say about freshman receiver Josh Malone, who made some big plays in Tuesday’s practice.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Jones said. “You can see the speed, burst and acceleration that we saw on film when we recruited him.”

Full coverage from Tuesday is available for subscribers on GoVolsXtra. Check out six minutes of practice highlights below and some photos after the jump… 

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After a spring break filled with basketball, Tennessee football is back today

Coach Butch Jones (right) talks with offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian before practice earlier this month at Neyland Stadium (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee returns to practice on Tuesday for its sixth official session of the spring season.

The Vols last practiced on March 14, a scrimmage at Neyland Stadium. Most players went home for the break, although some — including running back Marlin Lane — stayed in town to work out or rehab injuries.

Lane injured his hand and received treatment over the break. Coach Butch Jones is expected to provide an update on his status Tuesday afternoon, although his return this spring is questionable at best.

Jones and his staff also took a few days off during the break. Jones joined athletic director Dave Hart and UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek in Raleigh, N.C., to watch the men’s basketball team advance to the Sweet 16.

It’s safe to say that with both basketball teams embarking on a deep NCAA tournament run, this week’s football practices won’t be on center stage.

Check out our full coverage on GoVolsXtra this evening, including instant observations, post-interview updates, video and photos.

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Tennessee spring football: Catching up on video, photos and .gifs from Day 3

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Tennessee football doesn’t practice on Wednesday, and by the time the Vols return to action on Thursday, the temperature may have dropped from 72 to 32.

Bugs swarm around Haslam Field on Tuesday (photos by Evan Woodbery)

On a positive note, that might kill the bugs that plagued Tuesday’s practice. And, yes, I made a .gif of them, too.

For some much better photos, check out Adam Lai’s gallery here.

Butch Jones wasn’t entirely pleased with Tuesday’s practice, the first in full pads. He said some of the newcomers weren’t prepared for the pace. He called out one player for putting his hands on his hips — a big no-no in Jones’ world.

Beyond that, what conclusions can we draw through three practices — 20 percent of the spring total? Not a whole lot. All four quarterbacks are getting reps, and we’ve heard good things about Riley Ferguson. I would still be surprised if there’s a firm decision by the end of spring.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs throws a pass to Justus Pickett (photos by Evan Woodbery)

Running backs break down the huddle during practice (photo by Evan Woodbery)

Depth at the running back spot seems at least serviceable behind Marlin Lane and Jalen Hurd. That’s a good thing because two more scholarship backs are arriving this summer.

Emmanuel Moseley (photos by Evan Woodbery)

In the secondary, coaches clearly like Emmanuel Moseley a lot and are grooming the freshman for a big role in 2014. He’s working as the “first team” cornerback now, with Justin Coleman working at nickel.

Tennessee spring football Saturday roundup (photos, video, .gifs)

Butch Jones at practice on Saturday (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones started his tenure last spring with several practices forced indoors by chilly weather.

So perhaps the two brilliant days on Friday and Saturday are a good omen for his second season.

Jones didn’t talk to reporters on Saturday, as he handled Junior Day duties. But we did have interesting interviews with Corey Vereen, Marquez North, Cameron Sutton and others.

You can read all our coverage on GoVolsXtra, although some content is for subscribers only.

You’ll want to check out at least the beginning of today’s practice video for some solid one-on-one footage.

Here’s some of what I wrote about Sutton, who has been victimized by the Von Pearson show so far in spring camp:

Tennessee sophomore cornerback Cameron Sutton made some nice stops during drills on Saturday morning, but he’s having hard time forgetting one play on which he was burned badly Friday night.

In that play, junior college newcomer Von Pearson caught a pass near the sidelines, juked left and then turned upfield, all but buckling the knees of Sutton, normally one of the Vols’ fastest and most reliable defensive backs.

Why can’t Sutton forget it?

Because it’s playing on a loop over and over again in the Tennessee football football facility as part of the daily practice highlights.

“He’s shifty,” Sutton said of Pearson.

When Jones said the 14 early-enrolled newcomers would elevate the level of competition in spring camp, this is what he had in mind.

Not only will players like Pearson and highly rated freshman receiver Josh Malone create new competition at receiver, they’ll also be providing tougher daily tests for the secondary.

I also wrote about Vereen, who lived up to Butch Jones’ billing as a serious and studious worker. Here’s a snippet from his interview, and a little bit of Marlin Lane.

Offensive graduate assistant Nick Sheridan on Saturday (photo by Evan Woodbery)

The Vols didn’t have much coaching staff turnover during the offseason, but they did welcome a new offensive graduate assistant in Nick Sheridan, who will work a lot with the quarterbacks.

Sheridan is a former Michigan quarterback who last worked at South Florida.

Check out more photos and .gifs after the jump. Or click here for a link to the full gallery.

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Tennessee spring football 2014: The running backs

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With spring practice starting this week, we’re revisiting some of our projections from the post-season. Today: the running backs.

Rajion Neal celebrates with fans after the Vols beat Kentucky earlier this month (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s been nearly a decade since Tennessee had more rushing yards than the Vols did in 2013.

While that distinction may speak to the lack of a passing game in this year’s offense, it also speaks to the strength of the Vols’ experienced offensive line and running back duo.

The line will be gone in 2014, but veteran running back Marlin Lane will return. Instead of longtime partner Rajion Neal, Lane will be paired with true freshman Jalen Hurd, a five-star prospect who is expected to play an immediate role in the offense.

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Neal is the big loss off the 2013 roster. Reserve Tom Smith also parted ways with the program after the semester.

Smith did well in garbage time roles in 2013, but never threatened for meaningful playing time. Alden Hill seems likely to be in the same role and he must cement his value on special teams in order to be a factor moving forward.

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After commitment of Derrell Scott, a look at Tennessee’s running back roster

Derrell Scott (247Sports)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When Derrell Scott signs with Tennessee next week, the four-star running back will offer an important buffer in a backfield that was facing another year of being uncomfortably thin.

Yes, the Vols have returning veteran Marlin Lane. And yes, they do have two running back commitments, including five-star Jalen Hurd.

But Hurd and fellow incoming freshman Treyvon Paulk are both coming off season-ending injuries. While the Vols hope for big things out of Hurd, they didn’t want to enter the season without any other plans.

The running back rotation now looks positively brimming with options, and we could even see more of the two-back looks that the Vols started incorporating late in 2013.

Here’s what the roster might look like in 2014.

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For more, check out our complete 2014 commitment list and updated roster needs.

Tennessee football position preview: Running backs will lean on Marlin Lane, Jalen Hurd

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The second 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.

Rajion Neal celebrates with fans after the Vols beat Kentucky earlier this month (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s been nearly a decade since Tennessee had more rushing yards than the Vols did in 2013.

While that distinction may speak to the lack of a passing game in this year’s offense, it also speaks to the strength of the Vols’ experienced offensive line and running back duo.

The line will be gone in 2014, but veteran running back Marlin Lane will return. Instead of longtime partner Rajion Neal, Lane will likely be paired with true freshman Jalen Hurd, a five-star prospect who is expected to play an immediate role in the offense.

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Neal is the big loss off the 2013 roster. Reserve Tom Smith also parted ways with the program after the semester.

Smith did well in garbage time roles in 2013, but never threatened for meaningful playing time. Alden Hill seems likely to be in the same role and he must cement his value on special teams in order to be a factor moving forward.

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GVX Reporter’s Notebook: Vols physical in Tuesday practice (with video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones delivered on his promise of a physical practice on Tuesday — at least in the brief viewing period open to the media.

The Vols (4-5, 1-4 SEC) play No. 7 Auburn (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday at Neyland Stadium (TV: ESPN, noon).

Tennessee lost to Missouri 31-3 last week and Jones said the Vols were dominated on both lines of scrimmage.

Jones referred to the offensive line as “Club 90” on Tuesday for the number of rushing yards Tennessee managed at Mizzou.

He interrupted the pre-practice stretch — “Listen, we don’t need no elaborate stretch!” — for his Circle of Life drills, which are essentially one-on-one blocking competitions in front of the entire team.

“Everybody wants in (to the Circle) until you’re hit in the mouth,” Jones said.

We’d need another two or three entries for all the players who got called out as soft today. But his banter with running back Marlin Lane was most humorous.

After criticizing his weight room efforts, Jones asked running backs coach Robert Gillespie, “Robert, why do you have bigger traps (trapezoid muscles) than your running backs?”

Another line to Lane, a Daytona Beach, Fla., native: “We’re working on a trade to Bethune-Cookman.”

How much actual hitting took place after we left is unclear, but give Jones credit for advancing the storyline effectively while we were there.

* The only players in green non-contact jerseys Tuesday were true freshman tight end A.J. Branisel and safety Brian Randolph. Both players have been wearing green for weeks and still playing in games. Safeties Byron Moore and LaDarrell McNeil and cornerback Justin Coleman were all in orange.

* Lot of good music today, including B.o.B., 2Chainz and apparently unedited Young Jeezy. Song of the day, however, was “Tha Block is Hot” (feat. Juvenile and B.G.), which was on Lil’ Wayne’s debut album in 1999.

Vols wrap up Wednesday practice in chilly weather (photo gallery)

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie talks to running back Deanthonie Summerhill on Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

 

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee practiced for a couple of hours late Wednesday afternoon in Knoxville.

There’s a freeze warning tonight, and it’s already starting to get chilly.

No word on if that’s why a portion of practice was indoors, but as a native Michigander, Butch Jones seems unlikely to worry about a mild chill.

We didn’t get to see much today, but here’s a photo gallery. More notes and quotes coming after we talk to assistant coaches this evening.

Running backs coach Robert Gillespie looks on as running back Marlin Lane (15) goes through drills.

Defensive backs Willie Martinez coaches during a drill on Wednesday (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

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