Vols Fall Camp Notes and Observations: 8-24-17

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    The Vols took the practice field for their last bit of fall camp that’s open to the media on Thursday. Game week officially begins next week as Tennessee prepares to take on Georgia Tech in their season opener. But today was still all about camp, and the Vols were rearing and ready to go on the practice field.

    Dropped balls plagued the receivers during pass catching drills later on in practice. Two or three receivers dropped balls running routes around practice dummies. There weren’t quite as many drops during timing routes with the quarterbacks, but there were still several balls hitting the ground from the wide receivers today.

    The intensity from offensive line coach Walt Wells was high today, as it is every day. He worked extensively with his group on technique and getting push down the field. Trey Smith was particularly impressive with his drive down the field.

    We’ve seen a ton of timing patterns from the receivers and quarterbacks this fall, and everything we saw today seemed much more fluid and on pace than it was at the beginning of fall camp. Tennessee’s receivers, though they had a small number of drops, look to be fairly in sync with both Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano.

    Here are a few more notes and observations from today’s fall camp practice:

    • Tennessee is going to need some of their freshmen receivers to step up in the first few weeks of the season now that Josh Smith is confirmed out for about a month. And two of those freshmen, Josh Palmer and Jordan Murphy, looked solid today. Both probably won’t be expected to make major contributions this season, but both are looking comfortable in fall camp right now.
    • Quinten Dormady, in my opinion, definitely has a leg up in the quarterback battle. This has nothing to do with Jarrett Guarantano doing anything wrong or anything; I just think Dormady is the man to beat based on the poise we’ve seen him present during practice and his command of his passing skills. He’s been able to make just about every throw asked of him, and he has surprising athleticism. Both quarterbacks will probably get reps in Tennessee’s opener, but I expect Dormady to get more of them in that game.
    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.