Hardesty becoming a leader

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer said he’s been impressed by tailback Montario Hardesty’s toughness and smarts during preseason camp. The junior has been the leader of a young group of tailbacks as Foster has been sidelined.

“He’s leading that group pretty good,” Fulmer said of Hardesty.

Said Hardesty, “Now I just feel like without him (Foster) being there, it’s up to me to take the leadership role with the running backs and show the younger guys how to practice.”

Fulmer said he also was impressed with how Hardesty responded to a fumble during Saturday’s scrimmage, intently protecting the ball thereafter.

Lower down the tailback depth chart, Fulmer said he doesn’t see a competition battle brewing between sophomore Lennon Creer and freshman Tauren Poole.

“We’ve got four tailbacks,” Fulmer said. “We’re going to need all four of them. All of them are getting themselves game ready.”

Creer agreed.

“I go out there and compete with everybody everyday, not just Tauren,” Creer said.

With Foster sidelined, Creer said he has been splitting reps evenly with the first team with Hardesty. That, however, doesn’t mean Creer is happy with his camp performance.

“I know I can do a lot better and I know I need to pick it up,” said Creer, who gained 10 pounds and underwent knee surgery in the offseason. “I need to pick up the offense more and pick up my practice habits.”

D-Up D-Tackles: Fulmer said UT’s reserve defensive tackles shouldn’t consider themselves ready to play just because junior reserve Chase Nelson is done for the year with a knee injury suffered last week.

Juniors Victor Thomas and Andre Mathis are two of the competitors vying for snaps in Nelson’s absence.

“Neither have shown that if you have an injury that they can go in there and play 40 snaps in a ball game,” Fulmer said.

Then, there’s freshman Donald Langley, also vying for snaps.

“He’s not as consistent as I’d like him to be,” Fulmer said of Langley.

Back-up Brent?: Cornerback Brent Vinson has gone from working with the third team to begin camp to working with the second and first teams.

“I wouldn’t say it’s really a competition,” the sophomore said. “The coaches have been rotating everybody. Everybody has been doing good.”

Vinson blamed his slide down the depth chart on missing spring practice following shoulder surgery.

“I missed a lot of good stuff, a lot of good coaching,” he said.

Vinson said he’s relying on his teammates to catch up and, despite starting 10 games last season, isn’t worried about locking down a starting position by the end of camp.

“I’m not really focusing on that,” Vinson said. “I’m just focusing on getting better everyday. . . . I just do what my coach says. I’m still a young player.”

Practice Report: Fulmer was pleased following Tuesday’s first workout.

“I loved this morning’s work,” Fulmer said. “It was cool and we had some good physical 9-on-8 and some good teaching.”

Fulmer has definitely grown used to the NCAA preseason practice rules implemented years ago to limit two-a-day practices.

“I can’t believe we used to do it the way we did,” Fulmer said. “It was so hard on them physically.”

Men to Watch: Having eyeballed UT’s defense countless times, Hardesty mentioned a couple of players he thought should be receiving more publicity, beginning with defensive end Chris Walker.

“Him and Ben Martin both are two guys showing a lot of improvement,” Hardesty said of the two sophomore defensive ends.

Phillip’s Thoughts: Stuck in the middle of camp, Fulmer said now is the time for his players to avoid complacency — and he’s ready to make sure that happens.

“You comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” Fulmer said. “You can’t get comfortable.”

Roll Call: Offensive lineman Cody Pope missed the morning practice Tuesday but returned for the afternoon session. The freshman is still dealing with an illness.

Heating Up: Two UT offensive linemen, Ramon Foster and Vladimir Richard, suffered cramps as they came of the practice field Tuesday afternoon.

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Comments » 52

WorkinLikeHeck writes:


ZR writes:


britt writes:

I just hope Hardesty can stay healthy while arian recovers. With the rebirth of our running game there should be enough carries for all 4 backs.

UT-UK 07 on cbs classic right now


cjraney writes:

Anyone seen Chris Walker's weight these days? Last I heard it was 230-something.

xvolx writes:

afflict the comfortable. by all means lets not have relaxed, confident and comfortable players. they all need to have the panic syndrome displayed on the sidelines by fulmer and x sanders. I thought sanders was going to bite his tongue off.

xvolx writes:

why do teams use the term comfortable with the offense if you cant get comfortable. whats going on down there.

1manningfan writes:


burntorangeVOLffle writes:

I wish some of the regular posters on here would start coaching our team so we could win SEC and or NC's every year.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

The sky is the limit for Hardesty if he can stay healthy. He's a tough runner and has the speed, but always has an ankle or knee issue holding him back.

Good luck, Montario.

volmattna writes:

We need a good healthy year out of hardesty. GO VOLS!!

xvolx writes:

thats a good idea. I think I could win eight games a year with that talent for three million a year and a contract extension.

xvolx writes:

free brandon warren. priceless

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

WHO? ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gnm53108 writes:

what BigVolinCarolina said.

Without sounding like a broken record,I think this years sucess will depend on us being able to run the ball and stoping others from doing the same.

Silent_Fulmer writes:


BobbyGraham writes:

i hope they don't forget about Hardesty when we play Alabama this year.

iowavol writes:

Ever go to a fundamental Southern Baptist service and the preacher takes a piece of scripture out of context yet draws his own conclusions to surmise the secrets of spirituality and life out of it? Yeah, it's kind of like that with some of these posts. Having Foster on the sideline is a real good thing right now. Rest the bone - it won't heal all season once he starts playing - and let these young guys start thinking about taking 20-30 snaps a game. Complacency is a real bad thing.

VOLnAla writes:

I concur on "Free Brandon Warren" Stop the suffering!

GreerVol22 writes:

IF...If Foster is projected in the first 3 rounds look for a less than stellar season from him. Hardesty, stay health man, were gonna need you.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Man, you just have to like Hardesty's running style. He goes N & S, not heading off like some of Ainge's passes.

Maybe this stellar o-line can do some run blocking, get some drives that keep the ball a while.

How many days, Ashley? Oops, need a real official counting man.

GreerVol-dead on.

orangebloodgmc writes:

iowavol, good analogy.

jasonn1970 writes:

Free Brandon Warren!!!

hueypilot writes:

xvolx you think you could coach this (any) team to 8 wins? Based on your comments about football players and teams being "comfortable" I don't think you could find your butt if it had a bell attached to it. JMO

TommyJack writes:

anance 7:33: The benching of Hardesty in the bama game was the decision of one of Cutcliffe's minions (since departed). But ultimately, the blame has to rest on CPF. That game, BTW, was probably one of the sorriest efforts (from a coaching standpoint) ever displayed by a TN team.

tnbanker_govols writes:

I don't why but Hardesty in some ways reminds me of Shawn Bryson. You guys remember him.....I always thought that we didn't utilize Bryson enough during the season. Bryson was a beast...ran like a Mac truck. Somehow, I believe the same thing is happening to Hardesty. Hardesty has the potential to be a great running back but sometimes I feel that Tennessee doesn't utilize him enough as well. Example.....last year's Alabama game.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

TJ, after the Bama game, Foolmore said he was "surprised" that Hardesty didn't play. Yeah, somehow the head coach of the football didn't know that Hardesty didn't play at all and that Lennon Creer (Keep in mind true frosh pucker factor) was in the game on a critical 3rd adn 4th down play in the 2nd quarter. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!

ctownvol writes:

I like to hear montario is taking this leadership role. He's a very good runner if he can just stay healthy. I'm looking for a big year out of him.
Free Brandon Warren!

waterskier3#226480 writes:

man so many freshman just don't take the next step rapidly do they? i mean i thought creer would be playing more but we got spoiled with TH and JL being so freaking good as freshman... they were special talents looking back..

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

very good runner? Hardesty averages like 3.8 yards a carry. That's not good.

givehim6 writes:

It's good to have quality back-ups, puts a bit of fire in the starters bellys. Go Hardesty! You've lived in the shadows long enough. Creer, Pool be ready in cease something happens to Hardesty. GO VOLS!

auttat writes:

Workin has done alot of rolling on the floor lately. Guess his boyfriend won't stop tickling him!

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

ROTFLMAO @ auttat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SemperVol writes:

My man, Hardesty. Keep it up.

FREE BRANDON WARREN. I like. I'm calling up the printing press, pronto.

I read on another post that a WVU player (I think) has been granted eligibility for the same issue Warren has been confronted with. This guy had an ailing father and sat out 2007 just like Warren.

auttat writes:

Workin, that wasn't an invitation. I don't want to roll around on the floor with you.

jasonn1970 writes:

Well, at least the Big East Commissioner is doing his job.........

SemperVol writes:

Can I suggest we cease the acronym lingo? You're not texting someone. WLHIARSTT. I'll leave that up to your 3rd grade imagination, Workin.

SemperVol writes:

Something tells me he's a bit of a dim bulb to begin with (i.e. Pacman Jones...how he ever was allowed to step foot on an NCAA football field is beyond me).

WorkinLikeHeck writes:


Volchaz writes:

Workin is a one trick pony, don't commend him for it...it's all he has...

SemperVol writes:

Chaz-You're right, 3rd grade was a little too commendable.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:


VolFanInAtl writes:

This is starting to sound like a spin job. Is Foster hurt more than they are letting on?

I guess it doesn't really matter. If we can't beat UCLA and UAB without Foster we're in trouble anyway. It has always been the O-line that needed to improve to make the running game solid... IMO.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:


voloffaith writes:

Is there a bad echo gents? I've picked up alot of bad static at the following times: 10:41pm last night, 12:51am,10:44,10:58,11:30,12:10pm,12:45 and 12:48 today. Anyone else been annoyed by static at these times?

May Montario ,by the Lord's blessing, have a healthy ,productive year.

ctownvol writes:

Workin- I was just saying that I like the way Hardesty runs. He runs hard. He runs north and south. There are other things to consider than just his ypc. What is the down and distance on his carries? Are they on obvious rushing situations? Heck. You said yourself that the o-line hasn't run blocked at all in 4 years. Not even the best back in the world is gonna have a high ypc average going one on eleven. Just a few things to consider before you just write the kid off as "not good" I hate that you don't share the same admiration for Montario as myself. That's a shame too since he always speaks so highly of you.

voloffaith writes:

Cousin Keengspote gotta get Wurkin's backside ya know....don't mess with fambly.

Hardesty has always run hard with health his biggest enemy, not Ol line.

jmbigorange#280428 writes:

iam4ua, Foster was considered a fumbler too. His fumble cost us the game against Penn State in the outback bowl and the fumble against UF set the tone for the rest of the game last year. Now he's the best back in the SEC IMO. Some may argue Moreno and if he has great year again this year than i'll give him that distiction. As of right now, i'll take Foster. My point is you can correct that problem (fumbling).

MyVeinsROrange writes:

I believe Hardesty has more game days where he is in rhythm then Foster does, unfortunately we've not been able to see more of that due to injuries. Barring any injuries and how many snaps montario gets, I think we may get to see who the better of the two backs is.

THE_VOL writes:

Hardesty could best lead by just holding onto the damned ball!

Sounds like the DT's need to grow some gonads and the OL needs some Midol!

THE_VOL writes:

jmbig...I'll take Moreno and you take Foster. Bet is $100 per yard difference. You up for it?

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