Practice Notes: Vols Prepare for ETSU

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    Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    Tennessee was back inside their indoor practice facility on Wednesday for their last open practice of the week before they take on ETSU on Saturday. There was no rain outside, but lightning was in the area, and rain ended up coming after the open portion of practice ended.

    Here are our notes and observations from the Vols’ Wednesday practice session:

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    • We’ll get confirmation from head coach Jeremy Pruitt once he speaks to the media after practice ends, but I didn’t see Brandon Kennedy out on the practice field today. Kennedy has reportedly suffered an injury that is feared to be season-ending, but we’ll get confirmation from Pruitt on that once he speaks to the media.
    • Tennessee was trying out several different combinations of players on the offensive line during drills today. There’s a good chance that Ryan Johnson moves to center for the foreseeable future, though Pruitt has said before that Jahmir Johnson can probably play all five positions. It will be interesting to see if he gets a look at center this week or against UTEP.
    • UT’s tight ends were working with the offensive line during a drill as they worked on getting upfield for run blocking. The Vols’ tight ends struggled overall in blocking on Saturday, and they were emphasizing that earlier this week at practice as well.
    • J.J. Peterson was in a shell today, meaning he had pads up top but was still wearing shorts. I thought that, with those pads on, he actually looked a little better than he did just in shorts and a jersey. But I still don’t expect him to contribute any time soon.
    • Both Deandre Johnson and Jordan Allen were getting more attention paid to them with the outside linebackers today. Jonathan Kongbo and Darrell Taylor still seem to be the starters there, but both those players appear to be the next in line behind the two starters.
    • Tennessee’s running backs were working on several things today, but one of their drills involved them chipping defenders before running upfield, quickly turning around to prepare for a catch, and securing the ball. The Vols’ running backs weren’t utilized a great deal in the passing game on Saturday, with only Tim Jordan and Jeremy Banks catching passes.
    • EDIT: The No. 24 practicing with the safeties today turned out not to be Todd Kelly Jr., so disregard our thoughts on him.