Some notes and observations from the offensive side of the ball during the open portion of Saturday’s practice.
It was Student Appreciation Day in Neyland Stadium on Saturday as a few thousand students made their way to the stands to watch Team 119 go through practice number twelve of the spring.
Butch Jones treated the students to a front row seat for the Circle of Life as he brought his team to the field below student section for the drill. We have a full video of the drill coming soon to the front page of the site, and I would encourage you to watch it if you’ve got the time. For those who don’t, however, here are a few of the key highlights from the offensive players during the CoL:
–Jauan Jennings got the best of Quinten Dormady during their rep, driving Dormady to the ground on the play.
–Ethan Wolf had a strong showing against Cortez McDowell after taking a huge hit to start the rep. McDowell looked like he was going to push Wolf out of the circle, but Wolf rebounded nicely to force a draw.
–Dontavius Blair absolutely demolished LaTroy Lewis in their rep…A surprising show of domination from Blair, who hasn’t always shined in the CoL.
-For the final rep, Butch Jones called out Aaron Medley and Joshua Dobbs as the pairing, but blew the horn before allowing the two to participate. He laughed into the microphone as he addressed the students, saying, “I’m dumb, but I’m not that dumb.”
Game winners: Later in practice, Jones lined his team up for 11-on-11 work in the red zone for plays he called “Game Winners.” The offense took reps from different spots on the field for last-second, one-shot attempts to win the game.
-The first rep for the first team was an incompletion from Joshua Dobbs to Pig Howard.
-The second was a sensational, toe-tapping catch by Von Pearson of a Joshua Dobbs throw from across the field that would have made SportsCenter’s top-10.
-The third and final rep for the first team was a designed roll-out to the left that allowed Dobbs time to find the corner and explode into the end zone for a soaring, airborne touchdown that drew “oooh’s and aahhh’s” from the students in attendance. (Think 2-point conversion against Missouri, but without the hard hit.)
The starters for the first team offense were as follows:
Von Pearson (Slot)
LT – Kyler Kerbyson
LG – Austin Sanders
C – Mack Crowder
RG – Jashon Robertson
RT – Brett Kendrick
Quinten Dormady took all of the reps at quarterback with the second team and looked fairly sharp, even when being flushed out of the pocket by defensive pursuit. He threw a strike to Johnathon Johnson in the back of the end zone that Johnson dropped, and hit Josh Malone in the back-right corner of the end zone on an absolute laser. Nobody came open for Dormady on the third rep and his forth was tipped at the line on a nice play by Shy Tuttle.