It appears the Vol staff has seen something in Greg King that indicates he can contribute right away ... even more so on the strong side than in the middle. That suggests he has an excellent chance to be on the field when the Big Orange hosts Western Kentucky Sept. 5, which has to excite him.
"Yes, sir, it does," he said earlier this week. "But you can't get your hopes up. You've just got to go out there and compete."
King, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Memphis, has been competing, all right. He has stood out in Tennessee's early workouts, including last Saturday's opening scrimmage of the preseason.
"I did well," he conceded. "But I've got a lot to improve on. I'm just young still, and I've got a long ways to go. For the most part it was fun."
Asked what he does best, King replied: "Attack. Strike my opponent."
Although he felt comfortable at middle linebacker, he's OK with the switch to the strong side ... especially if it will get him on the field quicker.
"It doesn't matter," he said. "I'm just here to play and learn. I'm trying to do my best. If the coaches feel like that can get me out there quicker, I'm going to work as hard as I can and take care of business."
Because football is a faster game at the college level than the high school level, King feels like he needs his head on a swivel to keep up with all of the people coming at him from all directions.
"It's way different," he said. "You've got to move and you've got to use good vision. If you don't, you might end up on your back. That's what you don't want."
Clearly, King is a gifted athlete. If he continues to progress, he's almost certain to see action Sept. 5. So, what he must do between now and then to win the confidence of UT's coaches?
"Just learn my alignments and keys," he said. "Ball out, go as hard as you can and don't let up."