It was the third practice of fall camp open to the media for the Vols, and it was the first day in “shells” for the players. Tennessee’s players weren’t in full pads, but they had shoulder pads added to their attire.
Here are our notes and observations from Tuesday’s Vol football practice:
- After stretching, the Vols opened up practice with a little Circle of Life drill. The match-ups included OL Drew Richmond vs. OL K’Rojhn Calbert, DL Alexis Johnson vs. OL Coleman Thomas, OL Trey Smith vs. DL Eric Crosby, RB Tim Jordan vs. LB Solon Page III, TE LaTrell Bumphus vs. LB Will Ignont, S Theo Jackson vs. WR Josh Palmer, OL K’Rojhn Calbert vs. DL Kivon Bennett, DL Matthew Butler vs. OL Riley Locklear, and CB Shaq Wiggins vs. WR Latrell Williams
- Redshirt senior Josh Smith appears fully recovered from his surgery earlier this year, as he didn’t appear hampered by any nagging ailments in any of the wide receiver work.
- Tim Jordan is still impressing with his strength and overall demeanor. He could potentially add some unexpected depth to a young running back group.
- Theo Jackson, Justin Martin, Marquez Callaway, Josh Smith, Emmanuel Moseley, and Shaq Wiggins all saw time at punt returner during special team drills today.
- Quinten Dormady is, in fact, wearing sleeves on his jersey much like Peyton Manning and other quarterbacks did for the Vols back in the 1990s and early 2000s. Take that for what you will.
While the attention will largely be focused on Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano at the quarterback position, freshman Will McBride is proving to be no scrub. He has solid footwork and is good on the move. The quarterback battle will still go to either Dormady or Guarantano, but McBride hasn’t looked bad at all in practice thus far.
Speaking of the quarterbacks, Guarantano and Dormady both have good footwork and athleticism. Dormady’s ability to run is downplayed by many for whatever reason, but he’s more than capable when throwing on the run or moving around to buy some time. Guarantano is good at that too, and he knows how to put some zip on the ball as well.
Josh Palmer continues to impress as a freshman. He’s made some strong grabs in the open periods of practice, and he has good instincts. Marquez Callaway also continues to impress with his athleticism and ability to snag balls out of the air.
Trey Smith does not look like a freshman. At all. He looked bigger than some of the upperclassmen lineman today with his shoulder pads on. He’s huge.