Some notes and observations from the practice field as the Vols worked Thursday evening.
Non-contact: As camp continues on, the list of players wearing green, non-contact jerseys is growing. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Austin Smith, D.J. Henderson, MaLeik Gatewood, Jonathan Kongbo and Jauan Jennings were the players held out of contact on Wednesday.
Quarterbacks: I spent a few minutes watching the quarterbacks throw to continue to get a feel for where Joshua Dobbs is in terms of his improvement over the offseason and where the others are in the race for the backup job and future starting opportunities. Many will be glad to hear that I’m seeing some improvement from Dobbs throwing the deeper balls. He’s putting a bit more air on his passes – which was something he didn’t do very well last year.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect. I saw at least one deep pass sail over a receiver’s head in the few minutes I watched. But it’s clear that Dobbs has put some work in over the offseason in that area. In terms of the others, I continue to be impressed with Jarrett Guarantano. I think he’s going to push for the backup job this year. That’s no knock against Quinten Dormady, who is throwing the ball well. But it’s safe to say to say that Guarantano has met, if not exceeded, my expectations so far.
Sheriron Jones seems to be a bit behind those two, but still has a long time before the 2017 quarterback competition to improve.
Shy Tuttle: We’ve had some questions about how Shy Tuttle is looking since he’s been back at practice, so here’s a quick look at him going through a defensive line drill:
Shy Tuttle going through a D-line drill pic.twitter.com/C0FJqAWcgb
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) August 11, 2016
Johnson update: And in one off-the-field matter that broke on Thursday afternoon, attorney Greg Isaacs released an update from suspended defensive tackle Alexis Johnson’s student judiciary hearing:
University of Tennessee Student panel decided disciplinary charges against Alexis Johnson "Unfounded "🏈 Go Vols!
— Greg Isaacs (@GregIsaacsLaw) August 11, 2016
That’s obviously a big hurdle in the process of Johnson potentially returning to the team, but there’s no indication at this point that his status with the team has changed.