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Insider Mailing: Post Spring Edition

via Spencer Barnett (@CleVOLander)
via Spencer Barnett (@CleVOLander)

Who do you think will be the first newcomer with their black stripe removed from what you’ve seen in the spring? – Todd Mawyer

Daniel: I’d be surprised if it’s not Alvin Kamara. And that’s not just because he’s incredibly talented and will play a ton, but also because of the way he’s bought in and stepped up as a leader as well, according to multiple people around the team.

Houston: Shy Tuttle and Alvin Kamara immediately come to mind, but I won’t rule out a guy like Jack Jones either. All three of those guys have shown the type of attitude and skill that this team needs moving forward. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Darrin kirkland Jr. or Kyle Phillips were in that first flight of players getting their stripes removed either. While they didn’t get the opportunity to work with the team this spring, they still got a lot of work with John Jancek that should help them get off to a fast start in August.

Reed: Kamara is a great bet. Dormady is probably also in the conversation after his improvement this spring. I wouldn’t rule out Shy Tuttle either at this point. The coaching staff loves him and he’s been downright dominant at times in live portions of practice.

Do Ray Kasongo and Lamonte Turner both start game 1 next season for Tennessee? – @LinvilleCollin

Reed: As of right now? Yes. Turner is the only true scholarship point guard on the roster, has a great shot and can run an offense. Tennessee may still target another point guard in this class depending on how things progress the next couple weeks, but that doesn’t look probable at this point. That leaves walk-on Braxton Bonds as his only competition. I like Bonds a ton as a defender, but he’s not the scorer Turner is and points will be at a premium for this team. As for Kasongo, he’s the best athlete the Vols have had at forward in a long time. His game needs some polishing but he’s definitely the favorite to start at this point. Barnes likes height in the post and is still pursuing a couple 6-10 power forwards. If Tennessee adds Kyle Alexander and/or Ebuka Izundu, Kasongo will have some real competition for a starting spot in the paint.

Who would you chose to play a round of golf with, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, or Cuonzo Martin? – @barnett020 

Daniel: The Dools. Lost in his inept handling of the entire program is that he’s an incredibly funny and entertaining person. He’s a media legend for his stories and quotes. I’d be fine with ‘Zo too – always liked him personally and know he would play honestly. Kiffin would be cheating like crazy, awkward and would have Coach O drive him around in a Hummer golf cart.

Houston: I’d take Cuonzo, but only because I’d choose to play the round in California and would be forced to fly out there for a week (at least). Tuscaloosa and Dallas aren’t exactly vacation destinations, and can get rather hot in the summer, but Northern California for a round of golf would be quite perfect this time of year. I’d squeeze in a quick 18 with Zo on day one at Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco and then hang out there for the rest of the week. Maybe take in a Warriors game one night and then a Giants game the next…Hit up Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz…etc., and then set up a bass fishing trip in the San Joaquin River Delta and catch some monsters.

Kevin: Of those three people the one i’m most interested in hearing from is Derek Dooley. There isn’t much mystery around Lane Kiffin’s tenure on the hill, and i’m frankly pretty sure that I wouldn’t enjoy talking to Cuonzo Martin for a full 18 holes. I would, however, love to ask Dooley questions about his front row seat to view the Titanic of football programs sink slowly in icy waters. Derek Dooley is also a good golfer, I believe he won a long drive competition at the Chick-fil-A coaches tournament a few years back.

Reed: I’m going with Cuonzo Martin – he’s the only one on the list who I respect personally. Honestly, it’d be tough not to assault Kiffin or Dooley and I’m not sure I could play 18 holes with either one of them without a scuffle.

What’s your all-time least favorite sports film/show you’ve ever seen? – @Mr_Rutherford

Daniel: Playmakers on ESPN in the early 2000s was pretty bad – it was some bizarre mix of a soap opera, The Wire and a sports show that just didn’t work and was completely on the wrong platform.

First Take can be pretty brutal sometimes. Cold Pizza was bad as well.

Houston: Rocky V. I’m not even sure that it’s close. I’m ruling out all kid flicks and movies that involve an animal playing a human sport. Rocky V actually tried to be a good movie and it was trash. As far as shows…Anything on NBC Sports that isn’t soccer is terrible.

Kevin: There are far fewer good sports films than there are bad ones, for my money Miracle and Cindarella Man are the best in terms of authenticity and plot. I carry the unpopular opinion that Remember the Titans was extremely overrated, and Friday Night Lights will be the only sports themed television show I probably ever love, with the possible exception of Hard Knocks. The Blind Side wins the Hughes Award for worst sports movie ever made.

Reed: First Take is the worst thing on television. Ever. As for movies, I’m usually a sucker for every sports movie. Being a Yankees fan, I’ve never seen Fever Pitch. I can’t stand Red Sox propaganda. Even though I’ve never seen Fever Pitch, I know I hate it.

Should the stadium give up grass and go turf? – @VolStang11 

Daniel: Definitely worth looking at, but I’m willing to give the turf management crew a little more time after seeing the field for the Orange and White Game. Best it’s looked in awhile.

Houston: If they’ll take more pride in how they manage the grass, then no. But if they continue to let it get patchy and skip on the paint each week so that it looks yellow by kickoff, then yes, give me turf. The field looked good this spring, as far as grass quality goes, but the paint job for the Orange and White Game was terrible.

Kevin: The field looked awesome for the spring game, and I like the look of a grass pitch more than turf. As they are in almost every other aspect of the athletics department, Tennessee is looking for answers with their field management. Dave Hart may have to bring back that search committee in an effort to find some new agriculture prodigy at another program.

Reed: Before I saw the field this spring, I may have opted for turf. Footing has been less than ideal in Neyland for some time but it looks like the field turned a corner this spring. It was in great shape for the Orange and White Game and, as long as that continues through the fall, there’s no reason to go turf.

If the UT co-eds start referring to Josh Dobbs as their “quarterbae” is this acceptable? – @LoneNutVolFan

Daniel: No.

Houston: No…(Is that a thing?)

Kevin: Co-eds are a part of the SEC football experience, it’s funny how the students sign up for random seating but a cluster of blondes always seem to be seated in row 1 and on the Jumbotron within a matter of minutes after kickoff. These women are important to the program and if they want to give Dobbs a nickname we should let them have it.

Reed: I’m afraid you’ve created a monster, Lone Nut.

Will Dobbs’ average rush yards per game be over or under your score on 18 holes of golf? – @richmond_325

Daniel: While I’m a decently athletic human being, golf is the one game I’m just helpless in. I’ve had lessons, played a fair amount when I was young and have tried everything. All that to say, under for me because I’m a helpless hack on the course. I think Dobbs will have some big runs, but they’re going to do everything they can to protect him as well.

Houston: I actually ran into Dobbs, Mack Crowder and Dylan Wiesman on the Wee Course this weekend. I think he could average what I shoot on 18 holes on that course, seeing as how par is only 54 and I’m not terrible with the mid-range clubs. As it stands, I’d put Dobbs somewhere between 55-75 rushing yards per game in 2015, which is exactly where I’d put myself for 18 holes at Williams Creek.

Kevin: I think I shot a legit, by the rules, 105 one time on 18 holes at Centennial Golf Course in Oak Ridge. Josh Dobbs will finish the season averaging around 75 yards per game with a few 100+ yard performances in there. It’s going to be close, great question.

Reed: I’m going under. I’m a low 90s golfer typically and the staff will really be looking to protect Dobbs this year. Tennessee also has more weapons than last season so Dobbs won’t have to do enough. I just don’t see him rushing for 90 yards a game this season. That’d be more than 1,000 yards in the regular season. If he has to run that much, then the Vols are in trouble.

Will we see any packages with Hurd and Kamara on the field together? – @rollo457_eric

Daniel: The coaches have said yes, and I certainly believe that’ll be in the playbook come this fall. But I’m very skeptical that it’ll be a huge part of the offense. Just not a ton of depth at the position.

Houston: I’m sure we’ll see it, but I doubt it gets too much use unless they can get another running back or two to step up this summer.

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