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Offensive Practice Notes: 8-5

Joshua Dobbs-1-3

Practice number two of training camp is in the books as the Vols wrapped up Wednesday’s session shortly after 8:40pm tonight on Haslam Field. It was day two without pads for Team 119, who will advance to shell pads for tomorrow and Friday’s practice before their first practice in full pads on Saturday at 3:50pm.

Not a ton of new items to report, but here are some noteworthy items from the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterbacks: What a difference a year makes. This group has simply advanced lightyears from an overall depth and talent perspective since last August. Joshua Dobbs has matured into a star in this league while Quinten Dormady and Sheriron Jones each have shown flashes of brilliance through the first two days of camp. I think it’s safe to say that what Sheriron Jones has shown at quarterback through two practices is easily better than anything we saw from Jauan Jennings in the spring. And I don’t say that to knock Jennings, but rather to praise Jones. He has clearly been taught and coached well at the position, and Vol fans should feel very good about what they have in QB’s 1-through-3. How the snaps/depth chart break down in the coming weeks will be a very interesting storyline to watch. I wasn’t sure how much Jones would be able to push Dormady for that #2 spot, but he clearly has the tools to make a move. If he can learn the system, then look out.

Wide receivers/Tight ends: Whatever his shortcomings were at quarterback, Jauan Jennings looks like an absolute natural at wide receiver. He is still swimming a little bit as he learns the fundamentals and details from Zach Azzanni, but the talent is clearly there. He appeared a bit winded at times today, which is to be expected, but he also made some spectacular catches in the routes-vs.-air portion of practice – including a leaping 360-snag that drew some praise from Butch Jones over the mic. The James Banks comparison is an obvious one…but it also makes a lot of sense at this point.

Junior wideout Marquez North appears to be full-go, which is a great thing for this group. He and Jason Croom – along with Zach Azzanni – are the vocal leaders of this group and have both been doing a nice job of coaching the younger guys. North certainly looks the part of an elite-level wide receiver, and this team needs him to play like one in the fall. Pig Howard was Pig Howard…steady and quiet. Josh Smith was moving well, also – another good sign for this group.

Offensive Line: All drill work for this crew today. I’ll wait until they actually start hitting people before making any judgements.

Running backs: Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that Joe Young and John Kelly might actually be able to help this team this year. Both are more physically developed than I expected and move very well. If they can learn the system, then one or both of them may be able to notch 5-10 snaps a game…which doesn’t sound like a lot, but keeping Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd healthy is priority number one for running backs coach Robert Gillespie – and isn’t likely to be too far down Mike DeBord’s list either.

Absences: Again, no sign of Preston Williams and Von Pearson, but all else appeared to be as it should be.

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