Tennessee Football Notes And Observations: Practice 10

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    Tennessee was back at Haslam Field Friday morning for its 10th practice of fall camp. The Vols are less than three weeks away from the season opener as they work towards their Sunday scrimmage— the second of fall practice.

    The media viewing portion of practice was its usual 20 minutes while the drill work was much of the same.

    Here are our notes and observations from Tennessee’s 10th fall practice.

    Offense

    There was more pep on the offensive practice field Friday after a slow start to Thursday’s practice. We noted then that the routes on air portion of practice lacked a crispness that’s been common throughout camp.

    That crispness returned on Friday as the Vols’ quarterbacks and receivers were in rhythm for a shorter routes on air session. The only pass we saw him the group was a Princeton Fant drop that caused the super senior to start doing push ups.

    Rep orders were the same as the rest of camp with Bru McCoy working towards the back of the line but catching passes from Hendon Hooker.

    Freshman receiver Squirrel White was in shells only and worked off to the side throughout the open portion of practice.

    Tennessee’s running backs did some work in the passing game with the Vols’ quarterbacks and they were crisper than they were earlier in the week when working on the same drill. Drops were not a problem on Friday and Justin Williams-Thomas looked the best he has in that drill to date.

    Jaylen Wright was off to the side during this drill and the rep order was Jabari Small, Dylan Sampson, Justin Williams-Thomas and then Lyn-J Dixon.

    Everyone was available and working in the offensive line room Friday morning and that group had some serious energy. The question there remains at left tackle where Jeremiah Crawford and Gerald Mincey continue to battle for the starting spot.

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    Defense

    Kamal Hadden was back on the practice field Friday morning but was far from a full participant. The redshirt junior corner was in a practice jersey, athletic shorts and no helmet. Hadden went through warmups with his teammates but didn’t participate in any drills.

    Freshman safety Christian Harrison was absent from practice for the second straight day coming off the Vols’ first scrimmage. Elijah Simmons was also absent from Friday’s practice.

    Solon Page III was in his orange practice jersey but wasn’t wearing shoulder pads. He did a handful of drills with the linebackers while also working to the side during a handful of drills.

    While Page competed in practice, Jeremy Banks and Aaron Beasley worked together and Page worked with Juwan Mitchell. Those four are clearly Tennessee’s top four linebackers with Kwauze Garland looking like No. 5 in our estimation.

    Tackling drills were an emphasis for the defensive backs Friday morning with both the corners and safeties did tackling drills in the opening stages of practice.

    The corners also worked on coverage fundamentals with Willie Martinez stopping a drill to provide instruction for Brandon Turnage.

    Christian Charles has been out of the red no contact jersey for a few days now and continues to look good. The Georgia native was coming on at safety last season before suffering an injury against Missouri.

    Now at corner, Charles is fighting for snaps and Hadden’s workload limitations presents him an opportunity.

    It was business as usual along the defensive line besides Simmons’ absence. No one truly drew Rodney Garner’s ire while we were watching though Amari McNeill did have to repeat a drill.

    The Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and San Fransisco 49ers all had scouts at practice. The group spent a large part of the media’s viewing portion of practice watching the linebackers.

    Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.