Morley's coming on

Morley's coming on

Most college football fans realize there's a difference between (A) running fast and (B) playing fast. When a player moves from A to B, he's ready to make an impact.

From all appearances, Tennessee's Demetrice Morley is ready to make an impact heading into today's Orange & White Game (2 p.m. kickoff at Neyland Stadium).

Morely, a 6-2, 195-pound sophomore safety, is beginning to do the right thing instinctively, rather than having to think first. That is allowing him to PLAY fast, as well as run fast. As a result, he broke up three passes in last Saturday's full-scale scrimmage.

"That was because I'm starting to learn more," he said this week. "Last fall I was a freshman and I didn't really know as much. Now that the coaches and other players have helped me learn, I'm in a situation where I know more."

Obviously, the more he knows, the more confident he becomes and the more he can cut loose on the field.

"I'm getting that confidence," he said. "I'm getting to where I know where I'm supposed to line up and what I'm supposed to do. Once I know, that makes me move so much quicker."

Head coach Phillip Fulmer was thrilled with the three pass breakups Morley recorded last Saturday. Still, the coach felt the talented young safety was just a half-step away from recording three interceptions. Morley conceded the point.

"I just need to keep working on reading plays faster, reacting faster," he said. "If I read faster I'll have a first-step edge on the receiver."

Morley has all of the physical tools to be a standout. All he needs is to develop enough familiarity with UT's defensive schemes that he can rely more on his instincts and less on his memory.

"To become the player I need to be I just need to work hard," he said. "I need to work on everything a good player is supposed to have – intelligence, playmaking ability and all the rest. The more I know, the better I'll play."

Morley and his fellow DBs made some teeth-rattling hits in last Saturday's scrimmage. Not coincidentally, Vol wideouts dropped a bunch of passes. Have the defensive backs gotten into the heads of UT's receivers?

"I don't really think we're in their heads," Morley said. "They're focused. They've just got to make the plays they're supposed to make. They've been making us work hard; we've been making them work hard."

And making them think twice about going over the middle.

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