Vols ready to get 'right back at it'

With spring drills over, UT can't wait to begin workouts

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For most students at Tennessee, the semester is drawing to a close. Classes end Friday and exams begin a week from Tuesday.

UT’s football team had its final exam Saturday afternoon in Neyland Stadium with its annual intrasquad scrimmage. But by the time Friday rolls around, they’ll be starting up again.

Spring practice might be over, but the work continues. The Vols will get a few days off — try Monday — before a team meeting Tuesday followed by conditioning workouts.

“I think we’re back at it next week,” defensive end Chris Walker said. “We’re going to be in there running and everything for summer school. It’s going to be a couple days (off) and we’re right back at it.”

That’s the full immersion approach the Vols took in January.

Grueling early-morning runs coupled with position-specific weight workouts during the week was the order of the day before spring practice began on March 10.

And with the summer months closing in, it will be much more of the same in advance of fall camp.

This time, though, players have a better idea of what to expect from the offseason program led by new strength coach Mark Smith.

“You better believe it,” guard Vladimir Richard said. “I feel like guys will definitely make wiser choices right now about what they’re doing and what they’re going to be. We know that when it comes time to work in the offseason, we’re going to be working very hard. We had a taste of it, so now we know what to expect. And we’ll prepare ourselves for it.”

A lot of returning players also are getting prepared for an influx of talented recruits over the summer months. Many players who comprised a recruiting class ranked 10th by Rivals.com will begin arriving for summer school in June.

Most prominent among those enrollees are tailbacks Bryce Brown, rated the nation’s top overall prospect, and David Oku, the nation’s top all-purpose back.

Senior Montario Hardesty, who exited spring practice atop the depth chart, said he’s ready for more competition this fall.

“It’s all good,” Hardesty said. “I came to Tennessee to play with good players and compete, so it’s going to be another day. It’s time to come back in and go to work.”

Hardesty, who hosted Oku on his official visit to UT, said he talks with the Oklahoma native about once a week.

“He’s ready to get here and get it started, just like every freshman,” Hardesty said. “He wants to play, so he’s ready to get in and start to get things going.”

Walker, who finished spring as the defense’s most-improved player, said Saturday’s Orange and White game gives the Vols plenty of momentum heading into offseason workouts.

“Especially with the energy we had today, seeing all the fans out there,” Walker said, referring to the 51,488 in attendance. “We don’t want to disappoint anybody. I think when we came out here and saw everybody, we were like we need to go to work right now. I think just seeing everybody is getting us energized going into fall camp.”

First, though, come those offseason workouts.

And, at least for Walker, a few days off is all the Vols need.

“We’re trying to be a championship team,” Walker said. “We’ve got to get back to work. Florida’s down there working right now, so we’ve got to get back at it.”

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 131

BallBreaker1 writes:

GOOOOOO VOLS!

GahLee writes:

I hope that Brown and Oku can push our backs that are on roster even harder...they have been good all spring but a little more motivation wouldn't hurt...I'm really excited about Walker and Martin at end this year...I'm looking for us to have 2 guys with high motors and great athletic abilities to get lots of pressure on QB's...force throws to you know who...

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you used the possessive case of 'guy's'. You must be a carolina grad.

A guy's what?

Voluvr writes:

Hard work brings good things....like being first.

GahLee writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What?!

Pearl has done more for Tennessee than anyone could have possibly imagined...Kiffin will do the same...Tar Heel trolls...well that is a first...it never ends.

Voluvr writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope he will be what Pearl is for the University. I am also thankful that Butch Davis turned us down. That alone showed a lack of complacency and ambition. That's what has got us where we were last year.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Everyone notice this genius was the first to post on a VOL forum? Dude have you been waiting all day for this?

belayvol writes:

Great attitude! That will translate into success on the field. Go Vols!

1manningfan writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Voluvr writes:

Complacency is a trait of coaches on the back end of their career. We didn't need a coach who is willing to settle for a non-pressure to win environment. Basically, the only reason NC plays football is to pass time till basketball season.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you ever think they will find a cure for that sexual disease you caught from that hairy dude?

belayvol writes:

in response to Vol43:

Everyone notice this genius was the first to post on a VOL forum? Dude have you been waiting all day for this?

Just like walking in florida, that black, sticky substance on your heel is not tar. I'm just sayin.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Where'd you go you little pieceant? You waited all day for this and then you run.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Try spell checker also dumbarse. I apoligize.

belayvol writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Underachievers play football in baby blue.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's quite funny that you came to talk about basketball on a football thread. Although it's completely understandable since you don't have a good football program to brag about.

GahLee writes:

Too bad this article is about football, which is something that you guys over there would know nothing bout.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bet you do more than just talk to yourself. You know, that's a very good idea. Go talk to yourself. Good night.

belayvol writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then why not haunt a Louisville or Georgetown board?

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only thing I see not being taken serious is you. Good night (again).

sebfootball_39 writes:

I just don't understand how come the N.C. comes on here everyday, talking about only his guy teams. I guess thats his direction he turns too!

belayvol writes:

Or better yet, hit the florida boards and ask if Billy D is just biding time before coaching pro. maybe throw up a few shots of how lame they are to be owned by us in BB. Ought to get you some conversations.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea you cannot compare UT basketball to NC football. Ranked number one a year ago? When was the last time NC was ranked number one in football? Nuff said

Vol43 writes:

I think 'tarhead' just got lost and ended up here. Maybe we should hook him up with some of our favorite lopers.

belayvol writes:

in response to Vol43:

I think 'tarhead' just got lost and ended up here. Maybe we should hook him up with some of our favorite lopers.

You think DC and gatorz would like to include him in the group reach around?

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to Vol43:

I think 'tarhead' just got lost and ended up here. Maybe we should hook him up with some of our favorite lopers.

Ha im sure they would be attracted to each other lol

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Man give a rest. No one wants to talk to you. really good night.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least I can agree with this guy on one thing.

Vol43 writes:

in response to belayvol:

You think DC and gatorz would like to include him in the group reach around?

Can you imagine how much fun they would have with this rookie?

Voluvr writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One step at a time. B4 Pearl no ncaa. Now every year. What Pearl has done for Tennessee would be equal to Butch Davis winning the Conference and going to a bcs bowl.

Slice it how you want, but your ORANGE ENVY is showing. I normally try to pick on someone my own size so go back to your single sport school, although you probably didn't go there, and pull for them.

Vol43 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok tarhead, what should we do? You tell us.

Vol43 writes:

Hurry up tarhead, I don't have all night. I actually work for a living and can't stay up like some lopers can.

Voluvr writes:

Interesting how the National Champion in football and basketball's fan are so worried about Tennessee. Why? Because they know what's on the horizon.

With NC though typically they are known as a class act. Apparently, this doesn't apply to their fans.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Probably so, didn't Pearl win SEC East first year at UT. Why would Kiffin accompolish anything less.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you get a number one ranking then your coach is not bad. ALOT of schools would LOVE to have Pearl. For that reason we had to seal up his contract nicely. I'd rather put up with this guy than the memphis meatheads

Vol43 writes:

Ok guys, you can have tarhead. I'm done. You know what???? IT'S GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL, I SAID IT'S GREAT.....

belayvol writes:

in response to Vol43:

Can you imagine how much fun they would have with this rookie?

Probably would involve lots of lard and some irritating squealing.

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to Vol43:

Ok guys, you can have tarhead. I'm done. You know what???? IT'S GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL, I SAID IT'S GREAT.....

TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL

Voluvr writes:

Now that you are speaking for everyone in North Carolina and they let you know they are actually thinking about. Bruce Pearl, we don't really care what their opinion is. We are on the rise. For a program in the dumps were improving. Actually, Bruce Pearl is highly respected among all coaches so "laughing stock?" No one believes that. You're just trying to agitate people.

Run along, it's probably your bedtime.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SEC is a "major" basketball conference? If Pearl is "minor" league, name one coach in the SEC that is major (Calipari hasn't started yet). And don't say Donovan because he seems to be slip slidin away now to the annual NIT gig.

We are as much befuddled by the annual late season swoons by Pearl's teams as you are amused. But considering where the program was the previous 16 years, we are willing to give a few more years to work it out.

belayvol writes:

OK, back to the subject, Football. I like this team's attitude.

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

How would you rate Tennessee's overall performance during spring practice?

Thanks for your vote.
A 28% 64 votes
B 51% 116 votes
C 16% 37 votes
D 2% 5 votes
F 1% 3 votes <---Gatorzz, DC and GatorZZ2 voted.
225 total votes

CoverOrange writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

#1 by default? Kinda the klingon method I think. Memphis was #1 when we took it from them. And we got to #2 not by beating weak SEC teams but by our SOS and RPI being #1. Meaning wins over ranked non conference teams that year.

givehim6 writes:

After watching the O&W game I now fill more at ease about our offence, I know our defence wasn't really going at full speed. I feel better because our D can stop other teams, and our O can put 21 or more point on the board.

MrBamSeydu writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You mean apologize? Geez, you ARE a UNC grad.

Way to go idiot.

ThurmondEppy writes:

Look at this crud. A Tarheel makes the first post and twenty knuckleheads respond. DEE YEW EMM BEE DUMB.

dvols writes:

dancin with the stars outranked the ncaa bball championship

i;m just sayin

dvols writes:

whoa...a semicolon? they still make those?

798orange writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

For a supposed basketball fan you are ignorant on matters concerning Bruce Pearl. I doubt if there is a coach out there that could have turned the program around as quickly as he has.

Since he has been here he has received interest from Iowa, Indiana, the Washington Wizards, and most recently Memphis. The program now receives national media attention. We are now being seriously considered by some of the best prospects. Your comments seem a little out of touch.

VAvolfanRON writes:

this beats everything...a tarheel trying to TALK football......do they even have a team......

btw...he was key west...that explains alot....lol

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