Tennessee was back out on the practice field on Tuesday afternoon as the team continues to get ready for their season opener against Georgia State on Saturday. Here’s everything RTI staff writer Ben McKee saw on the practice field.
While Tennessee continues to wait for a decision on Aubrey Solomon, the Vols hit the practice field for the second time this week as they prepare for Georgia State.
Solomon was front-and-center at practice, going through drills as one of the three first-team defensive linemen. Matthew Butler and Greg Emerson joined him. The second team consisted of Savion Williams, Kurott Garland and Ja’Quain Blakely.
Elijah Simmons was working as a scout team defensive tackle for the offensive line. Simmons also worked on the scout team Monday afternoon. The freshman is simulating Georgia State defensive lineman Dontae Wilson, who measures in at 6-foot, 295 pounds.
Speaking of the scout team, Maryland transfer Kasim Hill is emulating Georgia State’s dynamic starting quarterback, Dan Ellington. As a junior last year, Ellington threw for 2,119 yards, 12 touchdowns, and five interceptions while also leading the team in rushing with 625 yards and five scores.
Darel Middleton, LaTrell Bumphus, and John Mincey continue to work with Chris Rumph and the outside linebackers on pass-rush drills during the open periods of practice.
Vol fans also anticipate the return of offensive lineman Trey Smith. He was working as the first team left guard during five-man offensive line drills. Wanya Morris was at left tackle next to Smith, while Brandon Kennedy worked at center. Ollie Lane worked at right guard, and Marcus Tatum worked at right tackle. Jerome Carvin also saw work at center.
As for the second unit, from left to right, it consisted of Jahmir Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Brandon Kennedy, Riley Locklear, and Darnell Wright. Jim Chaney and Will Friend were vocal with the group as usual.
At inside linebacker, a lot of attention was given to sophomore Jeremy Banks as he continues to transition from running back. Henry To’oto’o and Will Ignont were the first team linebackers with Daniel Bituli sidelined with a knee injury. Following Ignont’s reps, the junior went out of his way to help Banks through drills. Banks was also working with Shannon Reid. Former Vol linebacker and current analyst Kevin Simon also worked with Banks.
In the secondary, Alontae Taylor and Warren Burrell were the first team corners while Shawn Shamburger worked as the first team nickelback. Nigel Warrior and Trevon Flowers were the starting safeties.
Theo Jackson and Jaylen McCollough were the second team safeties alongside Cheyenne Labruzza, who was working at the STAR position behind Shamburger.
The quarterbacks and wide receivers worked on red-zone/end-zone throws. JT Shrout was the first quarterback to take reps following Jarrett Guarantano while Ramel Keyton worked with the second team wide receivers.
The running back order was the same as it has been all fall — Ty Chandler, Tim Jordan, Eric Gray, and Carlin Fils-aime.