KNOXVILLE – The Vols were outside for day No. 9 of spring practice on a colder-than-normal 48-degree Wednesday morning. They have just one practice remaining before Saturday’s scrimmage and are now only ten days away from the Orange and White Game on April 21.
– Cornerback Prentiss Waggner (shoulder), wide receiver Justin Hunter (ACL), defensive tackle Daniel Hood (shoulder), linebacker Brent Brewer (ACL) and linebacker Curt Maggitt (shoulder) all wore red, non-contact jerseys and participated on a limited basis.
– After being in a red jersey Tuesday, safety Geraldo Orta was back to normal Wednesday.
– Running back Alden Hill was not in pads and was an observer.
– Defensive tackle Maurice Couch (concussion) was in uniform but not taking part in drills during the open portion of practice.
– Tight end Justin Meredith (hamstring) continues to be held out of drills as he works with trainers on the side.
Several players are sporting new numbers this spring. Some notable ones include:
-No. 15, Running back Marlin Lane – formerly No. 4
–No. 43, Punter Matt Darr – formerly No. 5
-No. 85, Tight end Brendan Downs – formerly No. 84
-No. 9, Cornerback Izauea Lanier – formerly No. 18
Numbers of the midterm enrollees:
– Wide receiver Cody Blanc – No. 36
– Running back Alden Hill – No. 30
– Tight end Justin Meredith – No. 82
– Quarterback Nathan Peterman – No. 12
– Defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore – No. 94
– Defensive back Tino Thomas – No. 31
– Defensive lineman Trent Taylor – No. 99
Three open practice observations
1. The receivers and defensive backs worked against each other. They went two against two with separate quarterbacks throwing to each receiver. The drill started with an impressive deep ball from Tyler Bray to Justin Hunter over Justin Coleman. After that, the defense had the upper hand as the receivers struggled to find much open space.
2. The offense was very up-tempo as it ran through plays against air at the beginning of practice. Don’t expect them to look like a Gus Malzahn team or Oregon, but it’s clear offensive coordinator Jim Chaney wants more tempo from the 2012 unit.
3. The tight ends and outside linebackers worked against each other in a blocking drill. The tight ends held their ground in most cases as defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri was heard giving his unit an earful. Willie Bohannon did have one impressive rip move to get past Mychal Rivera’s pass blocking.
Defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri on where the defense stands right now:
“Installation is about over and what you have to do is to see what is retained. We’re going to throw some things at them and let them get better at their basic fundamentals and then let them play. Don’t overload their minds so they can’t move their feet.”