Practice Notes: Vols Spring Practice 3/27

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    Photo credit: Will Boling/RTI

    For the fourth time under Jeremy Pruitt, the Vols took the practice field for a spring practice session. It wasn’t rainy today, but it was overcast and cool. Tennessee’s players were in full pads, and the intensity, much like it was in the first week, was high.

    Here are our biggest takeaways and observations from the Vols’ fourth spring practice session under Jeremy Pruitt.

    • I finally got a chance to observe some running back work today as they practiced in the far right corner of the practice field. Ty Chandler looks more well-rounded and not quite as skinny as he was as a freshman last year. He doesn’t look like he’s lost any of his zip on his movement, but he looks like he can bounce off tacklers better now. We’ll see once we get to see some scrimmage action how well he can actually do that.
    • Jarrett Guarantano still struggles a bit with putting touch on his passes. He still likes to rifle passes in both short and longer routes, but he’s getting better about putting air under his long balls. He still has a tendency to throw lazers on shorter routes, though, and he’ll need to improve on that moving forward. It’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes it leads to some uncatchable passes.
    • Alontae Taylor has the speed I expected him to have, and I like what I saw from both him and Latrell Williams today on the field. Both of those guys are essentially in direct competition with each other for snaps at wide receiver, so it will be interesting to see if one of them can separate from the other.
    • I like how the tight ends are developing as pass catchers and as overall players. Eli Wolf actually looks more like a tight end and not just a big wide receiver now. He still isn’t huge, but he doesn’t need to be. He looks like an actual tight end, and that’s promising. I’m also intrigued to see what exactly James Brown and Ja’Quain Blakely will do at the position. The Vols need quality depth at tight end, and both those guys have a chance to do just that this season.
    • One of my favorite things about Pruitt’s new staff at UT is David Johnson. He’s extremely vocal, intense, and a good teacher of the wide receiver position.
    • I couldn’t make a out a ton since they were so far away, but I finally got a chance to see Chris Weinke coaching the Vols’ running backs through some drills. We won’t know how good of a teacher and developer he is till we see game action, but I was encouraged by what I saw from him today. He seems comfortable in that role.
    • On defense, staff writer Will Boling told me he observed Daniel Bituli acting as a vocal leader for the Vols’ linebackers. Bituli was encouraging players to check in and set up. He worked alongside Will Ignont, and Ignont looks bigger and stronger than last year.

    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.