Quick-Hitters From Football Practice 8/6
Circle Up: The Vols opened practice by gathering in a team circle with coaches calling out names for one-on-one blocking match-ups. The circle prevented onlookers from seeing the drill, but it certainly got this team fired up to do some full contact hitting to start practice. The energy level of the participants and their teammates was noticeable as fully padded practices got underway.
Jones Called Out: After missing practice yesterday to attend class, Riyahd Jones drew the early attention from head coach Butch Jones as he left positional workouts to field punts. Coach Jones got on the loudspeaker and claimed that Austin Peay would run “twenty-one Check With Me” all night and only throw at Riyahd because he would “tap out”.
Fair Catch: In punt-fielding work tonight, Malik Foreman, Riyahd Jones, Jacob Carter, Cam Sutton and Devrin Young all got the opportunity to get back there. As their teammates and coaches tried to distract them by yelling, waving, and surrounding them, the group fielded seventeen punts flawlessly. While there was no return on any punt, the coaches were pleased with everyone’s ability to cleanly field punts.
Kickoff Team: The first guys back for Kickoff coverage and return work were Devrin Young and JaRon Toney. The second group included Pig Howard and Vincent Dallas, and up third was Marquez North. Cam Sutton muffed his one opportunity on kick return but recovered it and turned it into a positive play. Malik Foreman also got a look and handled his kick perfectly.
Wide Receiver U: The hype for Marquez North continues to build. During drills, WR coach Zach Azzanni is constantly praising him for being better than players who have been here for spring and summer. He is advanced beyond his years and will have, in my opinion, an immediate and very significant impact on this football team. The wide receiver unit also won the “Tennessee Tough” run blocking drill against the defensive backs. Jones went so far as to say that, “The DBs were soft…they were soft and had no mentality.” This receiver group is by no means polished, but they continue to improve daily and take coaching. The potential is there for them this season…they just have to perform when the lights go on.
Houston Kress is a writer/producer/host for Tennessee Sports Radio. Contact/Follow him on twitter at @VolRumorMill