Tennessee receivers coach Frank Wilson doesn't have to think long to recap the highlights of spring practice.
"The surprise of this spring has been Quintin Hancock," Wilson said. "He's put it together and he's done it in a consistent manner, not just one day or one scrimmage. Week after week, he's been very good."
Yet there's more.
"We've also been very pleased with Austin Rogers and the job that he has done," Wilson said. "The last two scrimmages, Denarius Moore has come to life and done the things we expected him to do."
Other than quarterback, receiver may be UT's most pressing concern this fall. Junior Gerald Jones is a proven commodity but otherwise inconsistency reigns.
Wilson has been encouraged by what he has seen this spring - especially with Moore's emergence.
"It's critical to be able to stretch the field," Wilson said when asked about Moore. "We're going to be able to run the ball effectively. We're going to throw the intermediate pass. That's part of our identity.
"But every game you want to take shots and get downfield. He gives us that vertical stretch of a receiver that can go deep and put pressure on a secondary. We're expecting him to provide us with that."
Moore proved he could do that last season with gaudy 24.6-yards per catch average, more than 10 yards better than any other UT player.
Moore isn't the only late bloomer. Former Alcoa High School star Brandon Warren has also caught Wilson's eye recently after overcoming some off-field issues earlier in spring practice.
"His ball skills are phenomenal," Wilson said. "He's a physical receiver that we want at that position. He's been making steady progress.
"The receivers in this offensive system have to be able to think though. He's grasped it. He's making progress little by little. He's really embraced it but it's not an overnight deal."
Learning a new position has been a challenge for Warren, who has played tight end and defensive end throughout his career. Wilson said Warren should be ready to contribute in time for the 2009 season.
"When we moved him, we didn't intend on moving him not to play," Wilson said. " The whole move was to put him in position to contribute to the team. We think he'll be able to do so this fall."
For Kicks: Daniel Lincoln hasn't taken a couple of recent missed kicks lightly. In fact, the junior kicker doesn't take much lightly when it comes to football.
"I take this seriously," Lincoln said. "The guys try to joke around and keep me loose. I do have a tendency to be too serious - if you can be too serious."
Lincoln is also serious about being a leader for the special teams unit.
"The coaches come to me if there's a problem with the special teams," Lincoln said. "I'm held accountable. I hold myself accountable for our unit and the special teams unit.
"We need leaders. A lack of leadership transforms into a lack of winning. We need leaders across the board. Whoever is willing to step up, whoever can step up needs to."
As one would expect, Lincoln said his leg has never been stronger as he heads into his junior season.
"I've definitely gotten a lot stronger in the weight room and I'm hitting the ball better," Lincoln said. "You can hear it. You can feel it come off your foot different."
Karma Kid: Receiver Jones is looking for good things from his offensive teammates as they prepare for the final week of spring practice.
"If we do good things then it builds chemistry," he said. "It builds faith in other players. You begin to have trust that your teammate will make a play when it's needed.
"Good things happening right now is very big for us. We need that to happen."
Coming Up: Kiffin said the Vols won't back off with only three practices left this spring.
"We can't afford to do any slowing down," Kiffin said. "We can't afford to take Thursday as a light day. We're not good enough to do that. A few years down the road? Maybe.
"We've got to maximize every practice. We'll be in pads and we'll be hitting just like any other day."
Schedule: UT will practice on Tuesday and Thursday before the Orange and White Game on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.