Tennessee went through Day 3 of fall camp on Sunday, but this time the setting was a little different for the Vols. Instead of trotting out to the outdoor practice facility, Tennessee ran drills in front of a few thousand fans inside Neyland Stadium as part of an open practice for the Fan Day experience.
Unlike a Butch Jones’ open practice, Jeremy Pruitt wasn’t on the mic, there were no staged events or drills, and there wasn’t a score or any frills. Tennessee just went through a normal practice day, and fans got to watch.
Here are some of my notes and observations from the Vols’ third day of fall camp:
- From the little scrimmaging we saw in Neyland today, I can already get a feel for what this offense is going to do differently than the previous regime. I saw more tight end usage and lead blockers coming out of the backfield on runs. I think the Vols’ coaching staff really like what they have in Dominick Wood-Anderson, and from what I saw on Sunday, I can see why. He plays very physically, doesn’t shy away from contact, and moves well even for his size.
- The quarterbacks looked fairly even today between Guarantano and Chryst. I thought Guarantano made some really nice throws and was able to complete some difficult passes once receivers were getting covered by defensive backs, but Chryst also threaded the needle and made a few impressive throws of his own. Freshman J.T. Shrout has a very impressive arm, and he can make just as many throws as the more experienced QBs on the roster. I think he has a fairly high ceiling at Tennessee as long as he can improve his accuracy and consistency. But there were plenty of times where I was wowed by some of the throws he made.
- Tennessee wasn’t plagued as badly by dropped passes today as they were in the first couple days of practice, but there were still plenty of times when a receiver could’ve caught a pass that they didn’t. Jacquez Jones and Maleik Gray both had some noticeable drops.
- Ryan Johnson botched a snap to Chryst on one of the drills, and I thought Brandon Kennedy looked like he was settling in at center when he was on the field. We got to see Riley Locklear at guard and Marcus Tatum at tackle as well as Johnson at guard. Drew Richmond practiced mostly at tackle as well. Devante Brooks practiced at guard along with Ollie Lane, and Nathan Niehaus was at tackle as well as Chance Hall.
- Marquez Callaway, Brandon Johnson, Josh Palmer, and Jauan Jennings have really started to separate themselves at wide receiver. I think Jordan Murphy has shown plenty of flashes too, and that may be the five-man rotation UT ends up running with this season. I don’t expect them to go as deep with a receiver rotation this year as they have in the past. With that being said, however, I did like a few things I saw from Latrell Williams today too.
- Alontae Taylor is showing off some great skill at cornerback already. He intercepted a pass during a drill today and looks fairly poised at that position. He might be able to find some playing time there as a true freshman this season.
- I really like what I’ve been seeing from Jordan Allen so far, and he didn’t disappoint me on Sunday either. He showed a really good burst in pass rushing drills, and he knows how to beat offensive linemen at the point of attack. He’s gotten bigger, stronger, and looks more agile as well. I think he’s working his way into the rotation at outside linebacker for sure.
- When he’s healthy, I love getting to watch Shy Tuttle play. He’s embraced the role of a space eater so far in this new 3-4 defensive scheme, and he plays aggressively off the line and does a great job eating up two linemen when charging into the backfield. If he stays healthy, he could be very disruptive this season.