Tag Archives: Neiko Creamer

A fresh look at Tennessee’s spring roster with new faces, new positions

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Consider the roster a handy guide for Tennessee spring football, which starts on Friday.

As we wrote earlier today on GoVolsXtra, receiver Alton “Pig” Howard will miss spring ball due to what were described as personal reasons. Additionally, Vols coach Butch Jones confirmed that freshman Neiko Creamer would start the spring at linebacker, while Devrin Young would be listed as a running back.

The net result, at least on paper, is that the receiving corps won’t look as robust as it might have a few weeks ago. But that should provide plenty of opportunities for Josh Malone and Von Pearson, who will be two of the most-watched players of spring camp.

The roster above includes updated numbers (Creamer moved from No. 82 to 31) but not new weights. Click on each of the tabs to see a breakdown by position, listed in a very, very rough depth chart.

Add Neiko Creamer to the Vols’ list of early enrollees

Neiko Creamer (247Sports photo)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeNeiko Creamer is enrolling early after all.

The receiver/athlete from Maryland was left off the list of 14 early enrollees released by Tennessee on Wednesday.

On Saturday, UT sent out a tweet welcoming him to the team.

A quick glance at the roster showed who was the odd man out. Defensive end Joe Henderson is not listed, suggesting that he could not get approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse in time to satisfy coaches. If, as it appears, he doesn’t plan to enroll early, Henderson’s recruitment would still be open and he could sign with any team — including Tennessee — in February.

As of 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, Henderson was still included on the list of early enrollees and a UT-produced video was still live on Youtube.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones has consistently said the Vols have room for 14 early enrollees, so it seems unlikely that the team could accept 15.

The other wild card is Dontavius Blair, who is wrapping up online courses this week and has not yet attended classes. Blair, however, is still listed on the roster.

A UT spokesperson said the tweets and videos about Henderson this week are not an NCAA violation because Henderson had signed a non-binding athletic aid agreement that allowed coaches to talk about him publicly, something usually prohibited for unsigned prospects.

Tennessee football position preview: Vols will have more options at tight end in 2014

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

Tight end Brendan Downs (KNS photo by Adam Brimer)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — By the end of the season, Tennessee’s second-string tight end was a recently converted quarterback.

That former quarterback, walk-on Joe Stocstill, was one of the pleasant surprises of 2013. Even so, coaches have no desire to repeat the scenario in 2014.

Two highly regarded freshman tight ends will enroll next week, which should give offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian some more flexibility this spring.

Everyone on the current roster except for Joseph Ayres will be back in 2014. Ayres suffered a career-ending ACL injury early in the year. He could have been a valuable reserve if he had stayed healthy.

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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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Tennessee’s 2014 class gets 3 commitments in 3 days, including 4-star Todd Kelly

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s 2014 recruiting class grew over the weekend, adding commitments from offensive lineman Coleman Thomas, defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. and receiver Neiko Creamer.

Kelly and Creamer are both Tennessee legacies, sons of defensive end Todd Kelly and cornerback Andre Creamer, respectively.

In that sense, Tennessee was expected to get both players. But to get them this early, and in doing so generate positive momentum for Butch Jones’ first full recruiting class, was especially important.

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