Not ready for prime time?

Not ready for prime time?

Senior receiver Quintin Hancock isn't the only Tennessee football player with a reputation for performing like a world-beater in practice and like an egg-beater in games.

The same tag has been applied to senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton, who just completed a productive spring running the first-team attack. Now that sophomore backup B. J. Coleman is leaving the program, however, the Vols desperately need for Crompton to prove he can be just as effective when the stands are filled and the bright lights are on.

Tennessee's new offensive coordinator thinks he can.

"I have no indication to think that Jonathan can't turn this thing back onto the (game) field and do well," Jim Chaney said. "All I know is what I've watched on the football field: He's preparing well for practice. He's competing well in practice. He's throwing accurate balls in practice."

Crompton's decision-making has been questioned in the past. Chaney says he sees no problem in that area, however.

"For the most part he's making good decisions – not as many as I'd like, but no quarterback I've ever coached does," the coordinator said. "For the most part I'm very pleased. I have no indication to think anything other than that he will be a successful football player."

Like many of his offensive teammates, Crompton struggled with the intricacies of the West Coast attack Dave Clawson implemented last year. This led some observers to question Crompton's savvy. Not Chaney.

"What amazes me about our quarterbacks is their intellect," the coordinator said. "We're putting a complete new language in. Some of our terms are very long, and it takes awhile to call them. These guys step in the huddle and just throw these calls right back out at the offensive line. It amazes me."

If Crompton seems confused at times, it could be due to the fact Chaney is his fourth offensive coordinator in five years – following Randy Sanders (2005), David Cutcliffe ('06 and '07) and Clawson ('08).

Crompton seems to be responding well to the new coordinator, however. Asked how Chaney differs from his predecessor, the veteran QB answered without hesitation.

"The intensity. He knows what he's talking about," Crompton said. "He gets in your butt but he tells you when you're doing good. He kind of builds you up but if you're doing something wrong you'll know you did it wrong. I would probably say the intensity and the level of energy (are different), more so than anything else."

Although Tennessee's offense struggled in early spring practices, it grew steadily crisper as the Vols became more familiar with the new pro-style schcme. Asked what he's most excited about as he looks ahead to the 2009 season, Crompton smiled.

"Honestly, there's not any one thing," he said. "Everything's real exciting. We're looking forward to having fun doing it."

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