Mike Ekeler Wants His Return Specialists Thinking Like Cole Trickle

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    It already had the makings of an interesting press conference as Mike Ekeler made his way up to the podium on Friday afternoon. But, things were about to take a beautiful turn when the special teams coach started discussing what he was looking for in a return specialist.

    It’s not everyday that you get a “Days Of Thunder” reference, so when Ekeler decided to use a scene from the movie, it all started to make sense. He was referencing the character played by Tom Cruise, who had to drive through a bevy of wrecked cars and smoke if he was going to be able to finish the race and erase his fears, much like a kickoff returner running full speed into guys trying to destroy him.

    It actually makes perfect sense, each team needs that fearless guy who will run through the smoke towards the end zone, having to dodge a bunch of wrecked players and find that clearance for a touchdown.

    I tell ya, when I walked into that press conference I didn’t expect to walk out and want to watch Days OF Thunder again. But like always, you can never go wrong with Cole Trickle and Harry Hogge,

    Trey Wallace is a Knoxville-based journalist who has been covering University of Tennessee athletics since early 2018. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football's biggest stories. His vast social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of Vol Nation's most trusted sources. Wallace was born and raised in Mobile, AL and graduated from the University of South Alabama. He loves the mountains as much as the beach and looks forward to living in East Tennessee for many years to come.