Tag Archives: Matt Darr

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. 

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 practice: Scenes from Sunday’s special teams work (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There was more harping on the punting unit in Sunday’s practice, although I managed to find a few “attaboys” in the video to balance out the negative stuff.

Will it be an adventure the first time Tennessee has to punt the football? I don’t think so. Most of the problems are on the second team. Butch Jones is a stickler for details on special teams, so even the second unit probably isn’t as bad as it might seem.

Also included in the video are comments from Jones and Brian Randolph, some outstanding hip-hop selections from the Haslam Field DJ and photos of puppies. But you have to make it to the end for that.

Tennessee football practice: Notes from Sunday’s session at Haslam Field

Justin Worley

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley takes a snap in practice on Aug. 18, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — One day after an open session at Neyland Stadium, the Vols were back on the normal practice fields.

A heavy morning rain gave way to some sunshine, so Tennessee stayed outdoors for the workout.

The Vols will have one more practice on Monday before taking off Tuesday and Wednesday to get players ready for the start of school. (Although as Butch Jones would point out, there are no true off-days. They just won’t practice).

Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s session:

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