That's why the “1” that formerly graced wide receiver Brandon Warren's practice jersey is missing in action these days. Until head coach Lane Kiffin feels Warren has earned it, the number will be on a shelf instead of on a uniform.
“Brandon doesn't have a number for now,” Kiffin said following Tuesday's practice. “To have single-digit numbers around here is a big deal but you've got to keep earning 'em every day.
“Brandon's had some screw-ups, hasn't been taking care of business off the field and in class the way that we'd like. So, if he wants that number back, he's got to do the right things off the field.”
Warren isn't the only Vol going number-less these days. Tailback Lennon Creer, who normally wears “3” on his jersey, also sports the blank look these days.
On a positive note, the rest of the single-digit Vols appear to be keeping the head man happy.
Tailback Montario Hardesty continues to wear a 2 on his jersey, wideout Gerald Jones continues to wear a 4, linebacker Rico McCoy continues to wear a 5, wideout Denarius Moore continues to wear a 6, safety Demetrice Morley continues to wear a 7, quarterback Jonathan Crompton continues to wear an 8 and linebacker Daryl Vereen continues to wear a 9.
Kiffin's message to the Vols is clear: Take nothing for granted, including the number on your back.