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Tennessee Practice Notes: 8-18-16

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In the Air

It was a really nice day for the receivers and quarterbacks in practice on Thursday. Josh Dobbs had an extremely accurate practice, with several nice connections to Marquez Callaway and Josh Smith. Both Smith and Josh Malone have taken strong leadership roles among the receiver corps.

It’s extremely evident as to why Tyler Byrd and Jeff George had their stripes removed this past week. Byrd gives 110% on every route he runs, and rarely drops a ball. George struggled a lot in the spring with footwork and his hands but has looked much more like an SEC receiver recently.

We will likely see Jarrett Guarantano’s stripe come off soon, as he continues to throw dime after dime. He throws an extremely tight, quick spiral. He threw a couple of nice balls to Austin Pope and Eli Wolf. Latrell Williams is someone who, like Byrd, looks visibly faster than most of the receivers, but still has some work to do in terms of route running.

On the Ground

Jalen Hurd was in a non-contact jersey on Thursday, but didn’t seem to be physically limited in any aspect.

Alvin Kamara continues to look smooth in various drills and looked nice catching punts as well.

Behind the Line

There have been a lot of questions about who will start for defensive backs coach Willie Martinez. Todd Kelly Jr. continues to do well leading the safeties, while Emmanuel Moseley and Cam Sutton both looked notably explosive with the corners. Rashaan Gaulden worked with the latter group, which Butch Jones said would happen earlier in the week.

Another early enrollee that has made some great strides since arriving last January is Marquill Osborne. He moves much more like an SEC corner, and has filled out in size as well. Finally, it’s clear that the DB’s love Coach Bob Shoop. The chemistry in that group is very noticeable.

On the Line

The first team O-line on Thursday seemed to be (from left to right): Drew Richmond, Jashon Robertson, Coleman Thomas, Dylan Weisman, and Brett Kendrick, so nothing entirely surprising there.

A couple of new guys on each side of the line that both look the part are Marcus Tatum and Jonathan Kongbo. Both still have some work to do in terms or footwork, but each one is physically massive and certainly looks the part.

Kyle Phillips is another guy on the defensive side that does not ease up during his reps, receiving some high praise from Coach Steve Stripling on Thursday.

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