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Tennessee Football Notes And Observations: Spring Practice No. 11

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Tennessee football returned to the Anderson Training Center on a rainy Knoxville Tuesday morning. The Vols are working through their final week of spring practice before this Saturday’s Orange-and-White game at Neyland Stadium.

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’ 11th spring practice.

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Let’s start with injuries and absences. Receiver Bru McCoy and offensive linemen Javontez Spraggins, Andrej Karic and Masai Reddick were working off to the side. Running back Cam Seldon was also on the sidelines in a sling after having shoulder surgery.

I didn’t spot Tennessee center Cooper Mays, sophomore tight end Ethan Davis or early enrollee freshman Braylon Staley on the practice field during the open portion of practice.

Let’s start with the running backs where I watched that group work up close for the first time this spring. It’s a thin group with both Cam Seldon and early enrollee freshman Peyton Lewis sidelined. Dylan Sampson led the way in reps followed by DeSean Bishop, Patrick Wilk, Hunter Barnes and Khalifa Keith.

Lewis wasn’t doing work off to the side but was instead standing right by the running backs and watching them going through drills.

Tennessee’s receivers worked on their releases before catching tennis balls before moving on to the routes on air portion of practice.

After a sloppy routes on air portion of practice on Saturday, Tennessee was much more crisp going through the drill on Tuesday. That was especially the case when Nico Iamaleava was throwing. He was efficient and accurate with the football on Tuesday.

With Davis out, Iamaleava threw to Notre Dame tight end transfer Holden Staes on Saturday. On Tuesday, Iamaleava threw to Alabama transfer tight end Miles Kitselman.

Tulane transfer Chris Brazzell dropped one pass from Gaston Moore and Tennessee receiver’s coach Kelsey Pope jumped on the talented receiver.


Let’s start with injuries. Defensive back Christian Charles, linebacker Elijah Herring and edge rusher Josh Josephs were all working off to the side during the open portion of practice.

As has been the case for most of the spring, sophomore linebacker Arion Carter was going through drills but was not dressed out and didn’t have full pads or a helmet on.

Tennessee’s linebackers were working on some edge rushing drills as well as some pass coverage drills. Keenan Pili and sophomore Jeremiah Telander were leading the way for the drills.

It was normal footwork practice for Tennessee’s defensive backs. Highly touted early enrollee safety Boo Carter was getting some footwork instructions from coaches and responded well in the ensuing reps.

Tennessee’s defensive line and outside linebacker split into separate groups towards the end of the open portion of practice. Dominic Bailey, Tyre West and Tyree Weathersby were all working with the strong side defensive ends. Rodney Garner was giving West some hands on coaching about his hand placement during a block shedding drill.

Daevin Hobbs worked at defensive tackle during the open portion of practice. He’s a versatile sophomore who could play either spot and continues to be a breakout candidate ahead of the 2024 season.

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