Vol DBs Battle for “Lockdown Chain” Honors

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    Todd Kelly Jr-1-3“Motivator” is one of the words thrown around frequently when describing Buch Jones and the Tennessee football staff. So when sophomore Todd Kelly Jr. came out to interviews after Tuesday’s practice with a necklace-like chain around his neck, it was a first-hand look at another one of those motivational tactics.

    “That is a motivational tool that Coach Martinez uses,” Jones explained. “We talk about power of the position. Every coach is a group leader of their position group and it is their responsibility, it is the players responsibility to work to be the best position group to meet their full potential. But we never diminish the team concept. Coach Martinez does a great job with that and it is something the defensive backs came up with and it is something that they are extremely motivated with.”

    Kelly, who earned the honors for Tuesday after a strong performance in Saturday’s situational scrimmage, explained how the process works.

    “Whoever has the most swarm points out of the defensive backfield, that’s who gets it,” he said. “You wear it before and after practice. I had a pretty good scrimmage Saturday and I got some swarm points, so I was awarded the lockdown chain.”

    Kelly said it’s an honor that’s been passed around to several defensive backs this spring with no one player hogging it too much to this point. It clearly is a point of pride for them, however, as the competition can get a bit heated and the winner always considers it an honor.

    “We take pride in the defensive backfield,” Kelly said. “You know we’re the last line of defense so we’ve got to keep it up back there.”