With bad weather making its way across east Tennessee, the Vols were back indoors in full pads for bowl practice on Tuesday afternoon. It’s been all about fundamentals to begin bowl prep, and Tuesday was no different.
During routes versus air, all quarterbacks looked crisp, but especially Jarrett Guarantano. If a ball hit the ground, it was because a wide receiver dropped it — Jauan Jennings had a drop over the middle of the field, for example. Brian Maurer and JT Shrout looked good as well, with the pecking order behind Guarantano remaining the same.
In the slot behind Jennings was true freshman Ramel Keyton, followed by Tyler Byrd. Keyton has primarily played outside receiver this year, but it appears the coaching staff is preparing him to play in the slot with Jennings being suspended for the first half of the Gator Bowl.
At running back, David Johnson’s group worked on zone reads with the quarterbacks, cutting out of the chute and catching passes out of the backfield. Eric Gray was the first back. Tim Jordan went second, while Ty Chandler missed the first couple of periods, but he did eventually join the group.
With Brandon Kennedy sidelined, Jerome Carvin, Riley Locklear, and Jackson Lampley took reps at center. The offensive line worked on combo blocks, and the tight ends worked on blocking in the form of pushing the sleds around. The freshmen duo of Sean Brown and Jackson Lowe received quite a bit of attention during the drills.
With Carvin working at center, Trey Smith and K’Rojhn Calbert worked next to the sophomore at left guard and right guard, respectively. Wanya Morris continues to man his left tackle spot, as Darnell Wright does the same at his right tackle position.
Kingston Harris continues to work at left guard along the O-line after making the switch from the defensive line.
Defensively, Chris Rumph worked the outside linebackers through pass rushing drills and Tracy Rocker worked the defensive line through drills that focused on their explosion off the line of scrimmage.
Kevin Sherrer worked the inside linebackers through coverage drills and a drill in which the focus was avoiding being cut by a blocker. Solon Page was not in attendance.
Jeremy Pruitt spent his time with the defensive backs, working the group through technique-centered drills along with Derrick Ansley.