Practice Notes and Observations: 8/1/16

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    Photo Credit: Nick Davis/RTI

    Photo Credit: Nick Davis/RTI

    Notes and observations from the open portion of practice on Monday evening. 

    Tennessee took the practice field for the first time in the 2016 season on a warm Monday evening. The Vols were in shorts, jerseys and helmets, so it was all fundamentals and conditioning – just as it will be for the next couple days.

    As Butch Jones confirmed earlier in the day, everybody appeared to be on the field in some capacity, including Jauan Jennings and Shy Tuttle, who will start camp out in a limited capacity. We should get a better feel for their availability later in the week.

    I spent most of my time watching the offensive side of the ball on Monday, especially the newcomers, since you probably know what to expect from the likes of Joshua Dobbs, Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and company.

    I will note that Preston Williams had arguably the catch of the day on the pass over the middle from Joshua Dobbs.

    These are first impressions of all the offensive newcomers I could see in the 30 minutes or so that we were on the practice field:

    Nathan Niehaus: Has clearly added weight since signing with the Vols, but still has some work to do in the weight room to be ready to contribute.

    Marcus Tatum: Pretty much the same thing – has added weight, but needs more to be competitive.

    Ryan Johnson: I thought he looked like the most college-ready of the O-line trio of newcomers.

    Jarrett Guarantano: Not every throw he made was right on the money, but he was as advertised as an athlete and in terms of arm strength. You can see here that he throws a missile that can be difficult to catch at time:

    Carlin Fils-Aime: He was a little bit skinner than I thought, but looks to be quick and slippery

    Marquez Callaway: He’s a big, fluid receiver who demonstrated pretty good hands. Maybe not as shifty as some of the other guys, but looks like a pretty complete package. He had the best catch of the newcomers – a nice one-handed reception on a ball thrown behind him.

    Tyler Byrd: He’s compact and quick-twitch – reminds me a little bit of a slightly taller Pig Howard

    Brandon Johnson: I didn’t get to see a ton of him on Monday, but he’s a taller, leaner receiver who ran some nice routes

    LaTrell Williams: Short and quick – good burst like he showed in his high school recruiting videos

    Devante Brooks: He’s listed at 255 pounds, and he looks every bit of it. He was a little bit bigger than I realized, but moved decently well for his size.

    Austin Pope: He looked more like a big receiver. He needs to bulk up some more, but has good hands and is a natural running routes.