Day One impressions
Justin Coleman
Justin Coleman
Editor-in-chief
Posted Aug 2, 2011
Randy Moore


The first day of fall football camp is an exciting time for players, coaches and fans alike. You can't draw any hard and fast conclusions based on one no-pads workout, of course, but you can glean a few preliminary impressions.

Here are the ones I gleaned from Tuesday's first Tennessee workout at Haslam Field:

- Sophomore Dontavis Sapp looked like a linebacker who had mistakenly wandered onto the defensive back field, and not just because he was wearing a linebacker-type number (41). Sapp is listed at 6-2 and 219 pounds, and looks even bigger than that.

- Janzen Jackson, who missed spring practice to resolve some non-football issues, still looks like the best athlete on the field in every drill. If he's rusty, it doesn't show.

- Junior tight end Mychal Rivera looks at least 10 pounds heavier than his listed size of 6-3 and 254 pounds.

- Rivera led the team through warm-up drills, along with fellow veterans Tauren Poole, Tyler Bray, Janzen Jackson, Malik Jackson, Austin Johnson, Zach Rogers and Art Evans.

- Fifth-year senior defensive end Ben Martin may be growing into a defensive tackle. Sidelined by two Achilles tendon tears in the past year, he looks even bigger than his listed size of 6-4 and 265 pounds.

- Sophomore wide receiver Justin Hunter, who looked alarmingly brittle at 6-4 and 182 pounds last fall, looks much thicker at his new weight of 200 pounds.

- Hunter still exhibits remarkable grace. After slightly misjudging a long pass from Bray, he stretched out at the last instant and somehow caught the ball between the tips of his pinky fingers.

- Sophomore linebacker Raiques Crump, relegated mostly to special-teams duty in 2010, looks a lot bigger than his listed size of 6-1 and 220. He looks at least three inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than fellow 'backer John Propst, who is listed as 6-0 and 225.

- Tennessee's six mid-term freshmen - tight end Brendan Downs, wideout Vincent Dallas, center Mack Crowder, guard Marcus Jackson, quarterback Justin Worley and cornerback Justin Coleman - were not present, even after working with the varsity all last spring. Instead, they will practice tonight with the incoming freshmen, junior college players and walk-ons.


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