TE Douglas moving to tackle

When spring practice begins March 10, redshirt freshman tight end Aaron Douglas will be making something of a familiar move.

Although Douglas, a two-time Class 4A Mr. Football lineman of year from Maryville High School, has spent most of his career as a tight end, he’s following his father’s footsteps into a spot at offensive tackle when Tennessee begins spring drills on March 10.

UT’s coaches informed Douglas of the move Wednesday, and his father, David Douglas, said his son welcomed the opportunity.

“From the excitement he had in his voice yesterday, if he gets on the field and gets some playing time and helps UT win, it’s sure fine by me,” Douglas’ father, David, said on the News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page, Thursday morning.

David Douglas, who lettered at Tennessee in 1984-85, went on to play five NFL seasons with the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals.

Aaron Douglas has added more than 30 pounds to his 6-foot-7 frame since arriving on campus last summer and has been going through offseason conditioning workouts at about 280 pounds, his father said. Adding weight shouldn’t be a problem.

“Another 10, 20 pounds to be around 300, but what do I know about what (UT’s coaches) want and what they expect,” David Douglas said.

While offensive coordinator at Southern California, UT coach Lane Kiffin favored leaner, more athletic linemen in a zone blocking scheme. Douglas, a standout basketball player as well at Maryville, seems to fit that mold.

The move should also help UT with a shortage of offensive tackles.

The Vols lose Ramon Foster, a two-year starter at guard and tackle, as well as reserves Ramone Johnson and Preston Bailey. Johnson was dismissed from the team, while the News Sentinel reported earlier this month that Bailey had left the team for undisclosed reasons.

Those two players were considered among the stronger candidates to start opposite senior left tackle Chris Scott.

Douglas isn’t the only tight end in for a change of scenery this spring.

Brandon Warren, a former Class 2A Mr. Football winner at Alcoa, will begin practice at wide receiver after playing tight end last season, his first since leaving Florida State after the 2006 season.

Warren was a freshman All-American with the Seminoles, but UT struggled to incorporate him in its offense last season.

“Brandon’s going to be a bigger receiver that has the ability to be physical with those smaller corners,” quarterbacks coach David Reaves said, also on The Sports Page. “He has excellent feet, good change of direction. I think he can do some things, (create) mismatch problems on the edge.

“I know coach (Lane Kiffin) has always had bigger receivers that can go up and get the football. I know that is the direction that he wanted to go with Brandon, and we look forward to Brandon learning this offense. And hopefully we can get the ball in Brandon’s hands.”

Warren, who started one game at tight end, finished with 10 catches for 85 yards and no touchdowns last season. However, UT returns two players who started a combined 14 games last season at tight end in rising senior Brad Cottam and junior Luke Stocker.

Stocker led all tight ends with 13 catches for 139 yards last season.

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

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Comments » 181

UTvols12342000 writes:

GO VOLS!

LostinNCVol writes:

Great making tackles,literally

PennVol writes:

Let's put out talent where we need it most! Go Vols.

therewillbeorange writes:

Whats the story on Johnson and Bailey?

HtownVol writes:

Wasnt he already thinking about transfering? I say this gives him the extra push to change schools. This is a surprise.

tngivem6 writes:

Sounds like they are making room for a certain top ranked undecided TE to me..

cmoore7 writes:

This is a crafty move. Douglas just might be able to wad Carlos Dunlap's a@# up.

Docrok writes:

in response to PennVol:

Let's put out talent where we need it most! Go Vols.

Well KNS is a little late on this as ESPN posted this yesterday. I was hoping for some info about what the coaches may have said but apparently that isnt going to happen in this article!

MikeTheVol writes:

We definitely are thin at offensive line if you check out the roster. If this kid is as athletic as they say and he puts on a few more pounds he could be great.

Docrok writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Wasnt he already thinking about transfering? I say this gives him the extra push to change schools. This is a surprise.

According to an article on ESPN about this Douglas was happy with the move because he was tired of battling his weight trying to stay light enough to play tight end!

HtownVol writes:

Though he is fitted more to play tackle than TE. Maybe this is what he wanted. I hope so

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Good stuff! Now all we need is a center! McNeil got pushed around all year. That will have to change!
Go Vols!

HtownVol writes:

in response to Docrok:

According to an article on ESPN about this Douglas was happy with the move because he was tired of battling his weight trying to stay light enough to play tight end!

Yeah thats good for him. HE isnt still thinking about transfering is he? I think he was just upset about Fulmer for a little while. This sounds like a great move.

Docrok writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Yeah thats good for him. HE isnt still thinking about transfering is he? I think he was just upset about Fulmer for a little while. This sounds like a great move.

No that talk cooled even before Kiffin was named as coach and has not been brought up since

DisorientedVol writes:

Late as always, KNS. If I were optimistic, I would also think that Warren to wide receiver and Douglas to tackle meas Charles to us, but I'm not. Still think UGA. He has moved his singing date to the 4th, at least according to another blog.

rockytopman writes:

Sounds like a good reason to report "Tackle eligible".

Volunatic writes:

Good luck, Aaron! We're all rooting for you to succeed at OT!!!

largeandincharge writes:

nice to see a young man do whatever is needed to help the team and not whine and complain on what position they have to play

SemperVol writes:

Mark Smith is gonna have Josh McNeil crushing pony kegs with his butt cheeks by the time fall rolls around... no longer will he get pushed around.

DISCLAIMER:
The above comment lacks no substantial evidence to merit this claim, rather the commentee simply is killing time at the moment....good day!

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to Bloodrunzorange:

Good stuff! Now all we need is a center! McNeil got pushed around all year. That will have to change!
Go Vols!

Haha, he did get pushed around some, but Mel Kiper (take that for what its worth) has him rated as the #2 Center for next years draft (of Juniors and 3rd year sophmores).

http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/inside...

DisorientedVol writes:

Speaking of moving positions, has anyone heard about Wilks moving to wide receiver or where Bartholomew may end up?

jhp1152#336446 writes:

While KNS is late as usual- this is the best news today and yesterday. Aaron has the potential to be a first round pick at Tackle. 6-7 280, great footwork and NFL genes. I'm sure it won't take long to add another 30lbs- he is already a strong guy.

jimr07 writes:

in response to DisorientedVol:

Late as always, KNS. If I were optimistic, I would also think that Warren to wide receiver and Douglas to tackle meas Charles to us, but I'm not. Still think UGA. He has moved his singing date to the 4th, at least according to another blog.

do you know what song he plans to sing?

DisorientedVol writes:

in response to jimr07:

do you know what song he plans to sing?

Rocky Top, of course. Just kidding. Does Georgia have a song?

Sorry for the typo, guys. That would be "sign" and not "sing", but if he wants to sing, he can do whatever he wants as long as it's with the Vols.

I can't confirm the 4th date - so that may be garbage internet info.

volstasis writes:

in response to jimr07:

do you know what song he plans to sing?

Rocky Top, hopefully.

DisorientedVol writes:

in response to DisorientedVol:

Rocky Top, of course. Just kidding. Does Georgia have a song?

Sorry for the typo, guys. That would be "sign" and not "sing", but if he wants to sing, he can do whatever he wants as long as it's with the Vols.

I can't confirm the 4th date - so that may be garbage internet info.

At least I spell "Kiffin" correctly.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

in response to VolunteerFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hear you loud and clear. Sometimes these "young MEN" need to hear the truth. It was tough watching him in our own backfield all last year. Sometimes giving their All is not good enough. I would love you to go tell CLK to "Lighten up". Not so Strong Johnny Long will not be missed! Tell that to the Florida fan or Bama fan when your are sitting in their stadium after you have had your tail whipped! Not Fun! Did you make the trip to the UCLA game last year? I did. Enough said! I am obviously way more dissapointed about his play than you (I expected way more like Keiper). Good luck to McNeil. I hope he does well. No apologies though...

DisorientedVol writes:

Just in case someone is jonesing for their daily dose of Bryce Brown drama, here's one more pointless article.

http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/2009...

I say Oregon, and if it is, so be it... just not LSU, please. I hate them enough already.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

in response to UTandETSUfan:

Haha, he did get pushed around some, but Mel Kiper (take that for what its worth) has him rated as the #2 Center for next years draft (of Juniors and 3rd year sophmores).

http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/inside...

I can only hope Mel is right. I want him to do well. Go Vols! Not so Strong Johnny Long will not be missed in the weight room. I hope me makes good progress...

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Docrok:

Well KNS is a little late on this as ESPN posted this yesterday. I was hoping for some info about what the coaches may have said but apparently that isnt going to happen in this article!

check ESPN since you don't like being late getting reports.

DisorientedVol writes:

Positive Info:
Aarons dad interviewed with Hooker about his son moving. He said Aaron was very excited about it and just wanted to get on the field. Said he was in the best shape of his life and that the shoulder seems to be good. I know Foster had the same type of surgery and that the success rate is promising. Anyways, he said that Aaron had talked about how tough the workouts are and that everybody is improving. It sounded real positive in regards to the conditioning and mental direction of the program. He said Aaron loves the coaches and from what he said it sounds like everyone is buying in and ready to win some football games.

TommyJack writes:

Sounds like a good plan to TJ. O'Neil has always been a tad undersized. I'm guessing new S&C coach can improve an already decent center.

VOLorado writes:

I enjoyed this story more the first time I read it..... YESTERDAY on espn.com

jakethevolguy writes:

I called this a couple of weeks ago!!

golfballs03 writes:

Sawtelle or Dallas might get a look at Tackle. I think we will be fine there. If Cottom can come back and stay healthy I think we ought to have a decent line next year. Coupled with a more friendly scheme that Cheney will run, I think things will be a lot better than last year

VOLorado writes:

Oh, and the espn.com article..... it was more informative too

did I mention it was yesterday?

ColeTrickle writes:

in response to jhp1152#336446:

While KNS is late as usual- this is the best news today and yesterday. Aaron has the potential to be a first round pick at Tackle. 6-7 280, great footwork and NFL genes. I'm sure it won't take long to add another 30lbs- he is already a strong guy.

his dad said he has great hands witch will help with his line skills. he caught 90 passes his junior and senior year in HS and only dropped 3 passess. he said he is really working on his leg srength, he is over 400 lbs squat and 700 shuttle. he said he was a great blocker as TE which should convert nicely to tackle.

DisorientedVol writes:

in response to ColeTrickle:

his dad said he has great hands witch will help with his line skills. he caught 90 passes his junior and senior year in HS and only dropped 3 passess. he said he is really working on his leg srength, he is over 400 lbs squat and 700 shuttle. he said he was a great blocker as TE which should convert nicely to tackle.

Does anyone remember him blocking well last year as a tight end? I don't remember either way.

DisorientedVol writes:

in response to DisorientedVol:

Does anyone remember him blocking well last year as a tight end? I don't remember either way.

whoops! he didn't play did he. I quess that's why I don't remember him.

lilvolcoach writes:

in response to VolunteerFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you here. When these young are out "Giving it there All" we as fans need to support them as much as we can. It may not be pretty, but we are all VOLUNTEERS and we all BLEED ORANGE.

adamsck#591720 writes:

Do the KNS boys get tired of getting lapped by Lowe? He had this up hours before you did. It happens so often they are probably used to it though.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The entire offense was unsure about what to do.

I've posted this a few titmes:::
Clawson's offense is for smart, athletic players who ar not really "D1" quality players. I'd bet you a keg that the IQ of Richmond's players exceeed the IQ of UT's players by 30-percent.

What Kiffin will do is go back to simple football, simple reads, and simple blocking schemes.

JMP_Vols writes:

Am I the only one that thinks starting a redshirt freshman, who was a highly touted TE, at tackle is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sounds like he has the frame, but there will be a significant learning curve. Being expected to start there is asking a lot. This isn't like a cornerback converting to safety or something.

Sounds like he has a good attitude about it though.
Hope it works out.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

in response to VolunteerFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Need a tissue?

GerryOP writes:

191 -- Fear The Kiffin...

stinky_pinky writes:

Can you say.............."Hello ORSON!!!"

dvhill100 writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"shiting option"? Is that what that was on their pants?

:)

OdessaVol writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Sawtelle or Dallas might get a look at Tackle. I think we will be fine there. If Cottom can come back and stay healthy I think we ought to have a decent line next year. Coupled with a more friendly scheme that Cheney will run, I think things will be a lot better than last year

Hasn't Sawtelle had problems with both shoulders that could curtail his career? Not sure, correct me if I'm wrong...hope I am.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

in response to VolunteerFear:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sensitivity will not help. Remember the Auburn game last year-Wyoming-UCLA? I cried my eyes out to (Florida and Bama were expected). I don't mind being a jerk. Neither will CLK (obviously). Lighten up bro! Let's get back to the point. Our Line play must improve. I wish our guys the best. Let's agree on this- Go Vols!

OrangeronFan writes:

Even if he doesn't gain more than 5 lbs, he would still be about the same weight as most of the backups and bigger than McNeil. Also, his Dad was a Pro lineman, so hopefully he's learn a few things about playing the position over the years.

I think his height might be more of a problem, he's going to have to have great balance and footwork for pass protection.

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