Notes: Vols’ First Day of Spring Practice 3/20

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    Photo credit: Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    Jeremy Pruitt’s first day of spring practice as Tennessee’s head football coach was a bit rainier than expected. But overall, there was plenty to glean from the Vols’ first day on the practice field this spring.

    Rain sprinkled through the first part of practice and began to come down harder near the end of the open portion. But the weather didn’t dampen the intensity at all during the Vols’ first practice this spring under the new coaching staff.

    Here are my notes and observation from Tennessee’s first day of spring practice in the Jeremy Pruitt era.

    • Intensity was at an all-time high. Coaches weren’t letting off the players to start spring practices, and the rainy weather was no excuse for sloppy fundamentals. Coaches got on to players for not following through in catches, showing poor footwork, and more during the open portion of practice.
    • We didn’t get to see much from the quarterbacks to start today, but we did see a little. I liked what I saw from Guarantano’s mechanics from the brief period we got to see. We’ll see how that looks once he and the offense start doing more than running routes against air in shorts, though.
    • The offensive line is woefully thin right now, and that won’t be fixed any time soon. The line is, of course, without Trey Smith and Chance Hall for the spring, and any other injuries will even further hinder the unit. They’ll need to work on their toughness and technique as well.
    • Jordan Murphy might be a name to watch in the receiving corps this spring. The Vols’ wide receivers, much like every other position, will be in flux this spring.
    • Jonathan Kongbo looks slimmed down and in great shape. Darrell Taylor looks even more athletic than last year, and both were still listed as defensive linemen and were with the defensive line group. There’s a chance that changes as practices go on, however.
    • Tyler Byrd, Carlin Fils-aime, and Princeton Fant officially took the field at new positions. Byrd and Fils-aime were with the defensive backs and Fant moved from wide receiver to tight end to running back. It was a busy day for him.