Practice Notes: Vols’ Fall Camp 8-22

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    Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    Tennessee was back out on the practice field on Wednesday, and today also marked the first day of classes at the University of Tennessee. The Vols practiced late in the afternoon on Wednesday, and the weather was still warm but felt a little more like fall than it has during the rest of fall camp. UT’s players were in full pads once again.

    Here are our notes and observations from the Vols’ fall camp session today:

    Who is the budding star for the Vols in the secondary? What’s different about the defensive line this fall? Read that and more in our Premium Practice Report from today on RTI Premium!
    • In terms of players off to the side and not participating in drills, the Vols’ number grew today. Not only was Darrin Kirkland Jr. over to the side, but so were offensive linemen Brandon Kennedy and Marcus Tatum along with cornerback Kenneth George Jr. We will update if Jeremy Pruitt has any injury updates on any of them, but they didn’t seem to be limping or looking any differently today than normal.
    • Freshman Brandon Davis continues to work with the safeties during position drills, and Shawn Shamburger was with the safeties as well. Shamburger has been getting looks at the “star” position and has been practicing with the safeties a lot lately. He could be looking to just diversify his skill set, or maybe the staff likes his potential better as a safety in the future.
    • Trey Smith continues to look impressive and physically imposing. He hasn’t lost a step after missing so much time, and he’ll be a force no matter where he lines up for the Vols on the offensive line this year.
    • Jeremy Pruitt got a little physical with the cornerbacks today. Not in a bad way, mind you; he was demonstrating what he wanted in a drill, lowered his shoulder, and ran into one of the players to show the other corners what he was wanting during the drill. Pruitt was simply leading by example, and he’s not afraid to go through a drill or two with his players.
    • Brian Niedermeyer is really stressing the importance of ball security with Tennessee’s tight end group. Every practice he tells his players that he doesn’t want to see a single fumble out of them not only during drills, but also during games. If any of UT’s tight ends fumble the ball this season, I feel sorry for the butt chewing they’re going to receive from Niedermeyer on the sideline.
    • Freshman Trevon Flowers continues to impress me with his physicality. I said it at the time he signed with UT, but I truly believe the Vols got an absolute steal when they landed him in the 2018 class. He has a good chance of contributing right away this season, and Tennessee may need him in Week 1 against West Virginia’s potent offense.

    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.