Rivera enjoying Knoxville

Rivera enjoying Knoxville

New tight end Mychal Rivera spoke to reporters for the first time following Saturday afternoon's practice in Knoxville. Read to see what the new Volunteer had to say about Rocky Top.

Junior college transfer Mychal Rivera spoke with reporters for the first time Saturday afternoon following practice.

Rivera is excited about his opportunity on Rocky Top and while he has experience in junior college, the young man said there is nothing like the SEC.

"Junior college is a step up from high school, but there is nothing like SEC football," Rivera said. "It's big and fast guys."

Rivera felt after his limited time in Knoxville that he has positioned himself nicely for playing time on Rocky Top.

"I feel I am in a really good position," Rivera said. "Right now, it is just the plays, the condition and learning a lot from Luke (Stocker). He is a good mentor. I look up to him and listen to everything he says because one day I want to be in his position."

Luke Stocker has been invaluable to Rivera's transition to Tennessee, helping the young tight end in every aspect of the game.

"He helps me out with footwork, plays, tip and all type of stuff," Rivera said. "Any questions I have I always ask him and he answers them."

Rivera hasn't gone unnoticed by Head Coach Derek Dooley, who is excited to see how the young man can help his football team.

"Mike is doing well," Dooley said. "He still has a long way to go. It's like a lot of junior college guys. You have to break some bad habits, learn a new system, but he has shown promise. He has good size, he catches the ball well, but time will tell."

Rivera doesn't limit himself to a blocking or a pass catching tight end.

"I am all around," he said. "I can do both. In the SEC the guys are a little bigger so I am working on my blocking a little bit and bulking up a bit."

While the tight end is listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds he said he has actually added 10 pounds since the original weight was released.

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