"It's big for Brent," receivers coach Trooper Taylor says. "He needs to show up and be a guy that brings some dynamics to us."
After a standout high school career and a spectacular season at Hargrave Military Academy, Brent Vinson was viewed by many observers as a guy who might come in and start for the Vols this fall. He seemed to have all the attributes that made UT predecessor Robert Meachem a first-round NFL Draft pick last spring.
"He's the guy that can take a hitch like Meachem did and take it 80 (yards)," Taylor says. "But he's got to do it on a consistent basis. Right now reading the hot on the blitz read has been tough on the kid. Once he gets that done, I think he'll be able to help this club."
Despite going catch-less in his first major scrimmage, Vinson didn't pout or hang his head. He understands that he's a work in progress.
"I think he understands a lot," Taylor notes. "When you're able to show them why they're not being successful it makes a big difference. If he's doing everything you're asking him to do and doing it exactly right – and STILL not making plays – then it would be a problem."
Although Vinson gained some benefits from his year at prep school, he also gained some bad habits. For example, he routinely altered his routes.
"For us, you have to keep the integrity of the route," Taylor said. "You can't do like he did at Hargrave, where you can run around a guy and come back (to finish the route). In the SEC your quarterback is sacked.
"You don't have that time. That's the biggest learning curve for him – speed of the game, speed of the game. Everything happens fast in this league."