Monday was welcome-back day for several veterans at Tennessee’s football practice.
Linebacker Rico McCoy and receiver Gerald Jones were back at work in 11-on-11 drills and a couple of other Vols who had missed time due to injuries were back on a more limited basis.
McCoy (leg) returned to work with the No. 1 defense. Jones (leg) was back in the receiving rotation and made a one-handed catch on a long ball.
Defensive tackle Andre Mathis (knee) also participated in full contact drills as the Vols practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
Cornerback Brent Vinson and linebacker Herman Lathers also worked in certain drills but not in the 11-on-11 periods.
Art Evans, Stephaun Raines and Luke Stocker were dressed but did not take part in drills.
Freshman tailback Bryce Brown left the practice field shortly after work began. Coach Lane Kiffin said Brown’s hip was bothering him.
Kiffin said the battle between Jonathan Crompton and Nick Stephens to be the starting quarterback is still close.
Both threw interceptions Monday. Stephens was picked off by Eric Gordon and Crompton by Dennis Rogan.
Monterio Hardesty and Tauren Poole had long runs in the hurry-up drill at the end of practice.
Student Support: A number of UT students attended practice at Kiffin’s invitation. At one point they were brought on the field to cheer the offense running agility drills.
One-Rounder: David Oku and Mathis scuffled after Mathis put a hard lick on the freshman following a short pass reception. Both were sent to jog a lap around the field.
More details online as they occur, including Kiffin’s analysis of the quarterbacks, and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel.