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Tennessee Football Notes And Observations: Spring Practice No. 10

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Tennessee football returned to the Anderson Training Center on Saturday morning for its first practice following its second scrimmage of the spring on Thursday night and its 10th practice of spring practice.

The first three sessions of practice were open to the media meaning we got to watch approximately the first 20 minutes of practice so, per usual, there’s only so many observations that one can glean.

Here’s our notes and observations from practice the Vols’ 10th spring practice.


Let’s start with the injury report and it was a busy day on that front particularly on the offensive line. Center Cooper Mays, guards Masai Reddick, Jackson Lampley and Andrej Karic were all dressed out but working off to the side. I didn’t spot starting right guard Javontez Spraggins at practice and given he’s been limited the entirety of spring practice, he likely wasn’t out there. I also didn’t spot tight end Ethan Davis during the open portions of practice.

Receivers Bru McCoy and Garrett Young were also limited and working of to the side during the open portions of practice.

It was probably the worst routes on air portion of this spring practice when I’ve been at practice. Nico Iamaleava missed a couple throws as Tennessee worked strictly in the red zone but there were also some drops including from Notre Dame tight end transfer Holden Staes and Kaleb Webb.

Gaston Moore and Jake Merklinger also missed some throws. But it wasn’t all bad. Early enrollee slot receiver Braylon Staley made a really nice catch in the back of the end zone while working with Moore and the twos.

The Vols offensive tackles were working off to the side during the open portion of practice. With Mays not out there, Vysen Lang started at center and William Satterwhite also got reps there.

There’s also plenty of reps to go along for young running backs. With Cameron Seldon and early enrollee freshman Peyton Lewis out for the rest of spring, second-year running backs Khalifa Keith and DeSean Bishop are getting an abundance of reps alongside Dylan Sampson.
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A handful of Tennessee defenders were either limited or working off to the side. LEO Josh Josephs was working off to the side for the first time all spring as was defensive back Christian Charles and linebacker Elijah Herring.

Arion Carter was going through drills during the open portion of practice but wasn’t in full pads or a helmet. Star LEO James Pearce Jr. was back as a full participant at practice after I didn’t spot him at Wednesday’s open practice.

The inside linebacker room continues to intrigue me more than any other. There’s some very talented young players in that group. How much they can develop and improve by the start of the season and then by the end of the season will have a huge impact on how good the defense can be.

Tennessee’s defensive line group continues to flex its depth even on a day it was missing one of its better guys in Josh Josephs. But there’s so much depth there. How many good players can develop into great players will be the key to just how good the defense can be.

There were a ton of recruits at Tennessee’s Saturday morning practice including recent four-star defensive line commit Ethan Utley and five-star offensive tackle David Sanders.

Former Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright was also at Tennessee’s practice providing some coaching for that young running back group.

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