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.