Tag Archives: Paul Harris

Departure of 3 players slims Vols’ scholarship roster for new arrivals to come (with updated roster)

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The expected attrition on Tennessee’s roster is already under way.

Running back Tom Smith, defensive back Tino Thomas and receiver Paul Harris are moving on and have been given releases to transfer to other programs.

The only mild surprise among those three players is Harris, who arrived in January to lofty praise from coaches. But he struggled mightily in spring and never was able to turn a corner in the fall. With an influx of new receivers on the way, his best chance at playing time had already come and gone.

Thomas was a grayshirt who signed in 2011 but delayed his enrollment until 2012. He finally played a few games on special teams in 2013, but his contributions were limited beyond that.

Smith actually did quite well in garbage-time opportunities in spring and some early-season games. But his chances of ever having a meaningful role as a running back were slim. And unlike fellow reserve running back Alden Hill, Smith never caught on as a special-teamer.

There could be more departures to come, of course, but the Vols already have plenty of breathing room under the 85-man scholarship limit. By my unofficial count, the Vols have 55 players on scholarship, but that includes some former walk-ons who could be dropped back down to walk-on status.

Even beyond that, there are plenty of other candidates for attrition among scholarship players. But coaches won’t have to press that issue until the summer.

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.

#PracticeGram: Scenes from Tennessee football this week

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeButch Jones says there are no off-days in August, which unfortunately proved true for me on Thursday.

But while the Vols had meetings and weight-lifting, they didn’t practice on Thursday.

Tennessee practices on Friday afternoon at Haslam Field. On Saturday, the Vols will have a morning session at Haslam before moving over to Neyland Stadium for a closed scrimmage in the evening.

We’ll have plenty of coverage to come down. In the meantime, here are some images from the last two practices.

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Tennessee football practice: As dusk falls, Vols go one-on-one

Tennessee receivers

Vols receivers work on their hands during a JUGS gun drill in practice on Tuesday. (Photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Vols went through “Tennessee tough” drills this evening, which are usually some sort of one-on-one blocking or tackling drills.

In most cases, there’s a well-defined winner and loser. (Alas, most of the drills were obscured by players and not in an ideal video-shooting area.).

My favorite part came when walk-on defensive lineman Charles Folger was matched with freshman Brett Kendrick for a one-on-one drill. I’m not sure if he was being serious or sarcastic, but Folger called for Antonio “Tiny” Richardson to go against him. Tiny’s response: “You ain’t ready for me. Take the freshman, boy.”

The horn sounded just before Folger and Kendrick were to go against each other, much to the disappointment of Folger. 

We’ll have more notes and quotes from coaches, plus more photos and videos, late tonight and Wednesday morning.

* The camp gods giveth and taketh away. On Monday, freshman receiver Josh Smith was working with the first team. A day later, he was the lone player in the “Hole,” the fenced area for rehabbing injured players.

* In receiver drills, we saw a couple of really nice catches by Jason Croom and a good one by Devrin Young. Rough day for Paul Harris.

We’ll get some perspective from receivers coach Zach Azzanni after practice.

Vols return to the practice fields: Quick observations from the sidelines

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KNOXVILLE, TennesseeTennessee worked outside for only the third time this spring on Tuesday, returning to the practice fields after a 10-day layoff for spring break.

It was brisk but sunny, and the fields looked pristine — better than I’ve ever seen them during my time at Tennessee. The decision to work inside on wet days certainly helped UT’s ground crew.

Compared to the practices immediately before spring break, there were fewer hits and team sessions (at least in the portion we were allowed to view), so the video might not be as compelling today.

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Tennessee football post-practice report: Coaches focused on youngsters

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Offensive line coach Don Mahoney inherited a unit full of veterans. Receivers coach Zach Azzanni is working largely with inexperienced youngsters.

Even so, the two coaches have some overlapping goals for this year’s spring session.

Azzanni is working on molding his unit to be ready in 2013. Mahoney wants his youngsters to know that the battle for 2014 is on right now.

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Tennessee spring football practice moves indoors: What we saw Tuesday morning

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee moved inside for the second spring practice of the season Tuesday morning.

The rain had stopped by the time practice began at 8:20 a.m., but coaches probably didn’t want to tear up the grass this early in the season.

So instead of chilly outdoor practice, it was a hot, stuffy indoor session.

Here’s what we saw:

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