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With a little more than a month before the start of fall practice, Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton likes what his teammates have gotten done during voluntary workouts this summer.

And the senior especially likes the participation - especially from an unlikely source.

"It's really a good thing when we're doing 7-on-7 and the linemen say, 'Hey, I want to jump in.' That's kind of a different attitude than we've had in the past," Crompton said last week. "Guys coming out there and saying, 'Let's keep going. Let's keep going.' It's really, really enjoyable and it's fun to be around. The excitement here is so good."

That excitement was on display during Tennessee's 15 spring practices. But it hasn't waned much with players - despite turnover on the strength and conditioning staff during a critical stretch of the offseason.

Crompton said he was pleased with the way his teammates handled the transition from former strength coach Mark Smith to Aaron Ausmus, who began working with players last week.

"That's one good thing I'll commend our team on: I think we did handle that situation pretty well. Nobody knew what was going on. Nobody asked what was going on," Crompton said of the nearly month-long state of limbo surrounding Smith, whose contract was bought out by the university less than six months after he joined the staff. "We just shut our mouth and went in and did our work. That's a good thing when teams do that."

Crompton says it's a sign of maturity and strong leadership from upperclassmen.

"We've really got a mature team," he said. "Our senior class has been through a whole lot. We know how to handle pretty much any situation. Almost. Something could happen tomorrow. We're doing the best we can."

The effort already appears better than last year.

Starting in December 2007, several Vols were academically ineligible for the Outback Bowl and then the team endured a spate of offseason arrests during January and February.

This year, Tennessee has not had a player arrested in the offseason. And the Vols posted their best collective performance in the classroom since the fall semester of 2004.

During the summer months, Crompton says the learning hasn't stopped.

"I've pretty much taken it upon myself to make sure that everybody knows what they're doing," he said. "That's the thing the team's responded really good with. There's a few of us that are out there saying, 'OK, do you know what you're doing? Do you know what you're doing? Let's repeat it again to make sure that it's right.' Some more guys that are helping do that. All it's doing is helping make everybody better."

For Crompton, fellow quarterback Nick Stephens and UT's receivers, that means continuing to develop chemistry within a new offense. And although it takes time, Crompton said there's progress being made.

"Right now, we're not rusty but we're still trying to get the kinks out of it," Crompton said. "We've only had 15 (team) practices in the offense. Now as players, we're trying to reinstall it as much as we can. We're trying to make sure everybody remembers where to be on what routes and what plays.

"We're getting there. It only helps if I know where they're going to be and they know where I'm going to put the ball. That's one good thing that I would say we're getting out of it. We're starting to get to that point, and we're going to keep striving for it."

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

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 164

kiffownsfla writes:

Getem JC!

tway14 writes:

I really hope JC can live up to the hype he had when he came in!

FWBVol writes:

The rising seniors on this team have seen everything, and the juniors have seen almost as much. I think they have learned how to handle the adversity, and I believe that will be off with us surprising some people this year.

WestTennVol writes:

all I want for Christmas is quarterback production

SWAVol writes:

I will settle for JC for most improved. I hope this train keeps rollin. I am not sure if we are ready for all of the big boys but nobody gave the 85 sugar bowl team a shot against Miami. That is why we play the games and I will take heart any day of the week.

beachvol1 writes:

I really want him to finish his career with a bang...the guy deserves it....wish everybody would get off his back for his final yr...if he doesn't produce, let coach K be the judge....he's one of the good guys....

ThaiVolFan writes:

I have guarded optimism about our passing game this season, but then again it really couldn't get worse, so what the heck, I think we will lead the conference in passing this year....okay kidding..guess we'll just have to wait and see

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes I do! are you watchin the BET AWARDS LOL THEYRE GREAT! GO VOLS LMAO!

tennrich1 writes:

With JC being healthy for the 1st time in a while should really help as well....

HallowedHill writes:

Nice piece of journalism - keep 'em coming!! September is a long way away. GO VOLS!

hotrodvol writes:

in response to WestTennVol:

all I want for Christmas is quarterback production

You got that right.

Here is a another interview with Crompton a few days ago, I like what he says about competing.

http://www.sportingnews.com/college-f...

DennisVols writes:

The 3 A's
Attitude
Ability
Accountability
So far we have seen/heard a different Attitude from the players. A voiced desire to become better and vast improvement in off-field actions.
Ability should not be a question as most of the players were recruited in highly ranked recruiting classes. Just not coached well to this point.
The quite off-season has been a pleasant surprise this year. That kind of Accountability will go a long way in how much improvement this team makes. It seems that most, if not all, the team has stayed and not only done the conditioning but spent time working on their assignments and learning what will be the 4th offensive system in 4 years.
Like many I have a guarded optimism going into the fall. I saw the ’05 team start the year projected to win the conference and a possible shot at a National Championship only to fail miserably. Last year we (many of us) believed a change in the offensive system would be good. Too predictable was a big complaint following the loss to LSU in the SEC title game. Instead what we saw was players playing like they just got off the bus and where given uniforms. Reminded me of the first couple weeks of basic training when soldiers had uniforms but didn’t have a clue about how to be one.
The proof will be on the field this fall. I expect to see a big improvement, being competitive in every game. I believe there is a chance UT will pull off at least one upset this year between Bama and UF. That being said the 3 A’s will determine a lot in just how good the season ends.
Keeping it Real.
Go Vols!!!!

hotrodvol writes:

Rumor has it this guy will commit to the VOLS around 5:00pm tomorrow.

http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&...

KiFFiNOMiCS writes:

This season when TENNESSEE has a lead and is about to win the game they're playing....you will hear the commentator say,"Jonathon Crompton did an excellent job managing the game for the VOLS today".

I really believe that is all CLK and Cheney are putting on him...is to go out and dink & dunk for 4 yards here and there. They are not going to have him out there chucking it for 60 yard bombs 15 times a game. Pick up 1st downs and use the running game....smash mouth style just like "Old School Tennessee Football".

U.S.C. really utilized the Tight Ends alot when Kiffin was there....can't wait to see more production from the TE position.....this too will be a security blanket for Jonathon Crompton when he drops back.

I really believe JC will have a good year....not a record breaking year but perform like John Parker Wilson did for Alabama last season.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to Jovi:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes isnt it great how kerry collins took the team to the play offs v young is a bust and needs to be sent packing. they should of took cutler instead. GO VOLS!

volswithclass writes:

Have not had a player arrested. Kicked off Morley - what do you think for ? Stealing from teammates. Not arrested so that doesnt count? Oh I guess Vinson being involved in a murder does not count either. What a crock... Still comes down to home many games you win - this year!

DownTheField writes:

"We've really got a mature team," he said. "Our senior class has been through a whole lot. We know how to handle pretty much any situation. Almost. Something could happen tomorrow. We're doing the best we can."

Really... someone should muzzle this guy. He's pretty much been "handled" in every situation- not the other way round. I'm ready to see him compete and that might begin when he stops talking about competing.

KiFFiNOMiCS writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

Rumor has it this guy will commit to the VOLS around 5:00pm tomorrow.

http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&...

This kid is a "BIG BOY" and only going to get bigger!!! Here is the scoop on him from ESPN.com:

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

James Cregg will take care of overcoming some of his weaknesses....he'll be a great big body out there for Brown & Oku!!!!

MillisaAnn writes:

Sorry I feel we need somebody other than Crompton.

DownTheField writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Of course it is... these are all opinions. By the way Milissa, I agree!

chad_t31 writes:

Like him or not, we've got him. I won't be surprised if he plays pretty well this fall. The bottom line is that if he does well, we'll wish we had him for another year. If he does a horrible job, we'll be glad he's a senior. I'm just glad the season will be here soon. Nothing better than college football all day on Saturdays in the fall.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

If only he could play the position as good as he can talk! It won't happen. He was the same one that after throwing a int would say "I can't commit until i see the game tape". Nick should be the QB and build on him, already had JC (imo it stands for Junior College) please dont make us watch the same horror shows again!!!! he stinks

TommyJack writes:

Say what you will about JC, but the man keeps a great tude.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

Whatever! fulmer must of owed his dad money.

DownTheField writes:

FWIW, Scroggins denies the notion of a silent commit:

http://arizonastate.scout.com/a.z?s=4...

volunteer_cowboy writes:

INCROMPTANT should of been the FIRST 1 kiffen dismissed

chad_t31 writes:

You gotta love some of the negavols on here. Stephens didn't exactly light up the scoreboard last year.

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

If Ausmus pushes JC, maybe his arm will be strong enough to avoid the one hopper by Sept. I certainly wish him all the luck in the world this fall and I really want to get behind him...just not confident....

hotrodvol writes:

jvol, do yo know what the article says inside? I seen this on another site but havn't seen the article.

DownTheField writes:

in response to Greer_Vol_22:

If Ausmus pushes JC, maybe his arm will be strong enough to avoid the one hopper by Sept. I certainly wish him all the luck in the world this fall and I really want to get behind him...just not confident....

Agreed. And good choice on getting behind him- there's no telling where the ball will go upon release!

chad_t31 writes:

in response to volunteer_cowboy:

INCROMPTANT should of been the FIRST 1 kiffen dismissed

A true vol fan knows that it's kiffin, not kiffen.

DownTheField writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

jvol, do yo know what the article says inside? I seen this on another site but havn't seen the article.

Nope, sorry. Just the tease.

golfballs03 writes:

in response to KiFFiNOMiCS:

This kid is a "BIG BOY" and only going to get bigger!!! Here is the scoop on him from ESPN.com:

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

James Cregg will take care of overcoming some of his weaknesses....he'll be a great big body out there for Brown & Oku!!!!

Not a great write-up by scouts inc, and only gets a 74. But I read about him at a recent camp and he got awesome reviews. Almost like a diamond in the rough. I'll take all the help we can muster at OL, but I hope we can lock down some better prospects... like James Stone! Any word on him???

BillsBrother writes:

JC's one-hoppers were a classic case of the former Tennessee style of "playing not to lose." The coaches had him (and many others on the "O" side) so afraid of screwing up that he could never perform to his abilities.

The new attitude of "line up and hit someone in a different jersey" should bring out a much better performance from the "O" this year.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

The thing is, we just don't know how JC will play until the season starts. Being enthusiastic is great but hold any weight with me you need to produce wins, which isn't the easiest thing to do in a conference as good as the SEC.

DownTheField writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

JC's one-hoppers were a classic case of the former Tennessee style of "playing not to lose." The coaches had him (and many others on the "O" side) so afraid of screwing up that he could never perform to his abilities.

The new attitude of "line up and hit someone in a different jersey" should bring out a much better performance from the "O" this year.

Ironically, you've honed in on the heart of the problem: JC "lines up and hits someone in a different jersey" all the time! And his spring stats suggest more of the same.

BasketVols writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, Coleman knows how to spell.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Not a great write-up by scouts inc, and only gets a 74. But I read about him at a recent camp and he got awesome reviews. Almost like a diamond in the rough. I'll take all the help we can muster at OL, but I hope we can lock down some better prospects... like James Stone! Any word on him???

GB3, check out the #1 kicker/punter in the country. He is down to UT and LSU. Rumor is he will choose this week between the two, and Coach Gran is his lead recruiter.

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennes...

DownTheField writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

GB3, check out the #1 kicker/punter in the country. He is down to UT and LSU. Rumor is he will choose this week between the two, and Coach Gran is his lead recruiter.

http://www.volnation.com/forum/tennes...

That is really good news indeed! Any idea how he's leaning?

TnScooby writes:

Well one thing is for sure, if you love the Vols you better support Cromp because he and Stephens are what we have and Nick probably won't start...new coaches and a fresh start could be all JC needs...he has talent and all the negativity makes it that much harder to show it...I would love to have a Heisman candidate at QB every year but I live in the real world...ain't gonna happen....get behind who ya' got and move forward if you are truly a Vols fan...CLK will eventually get the QB we need to get to a championship level but remember patience is a virtue...and loyalty is too!

Go Vols!!!

BillsBrother writes:

in response to DownTheField:

Ironically, you've honed in on the heart of the problem: JC "lines up and hits someone in a different jersey" all the time! And his spring stats suggest more of the same.

I think that will be corrected as JC gets more comfortable with the patterns.

More importantly, I think the new staff will not ask more of the QB's than they can deliver.

Th new RB's may get a lot of carries this season.

DownTheField writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

I think that will be corrected as JC gets more comfortable with the patterns.

More importantly, I think the new staff will not ask more of the QB's than they can deliver.

Th new RB's may get a lot of carries this season.

I'm counting on it! The RB's, that is.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

Notice how the FLA trolls have stopped with the 63-3 predictions?? Forget about them putting up their money for such a line, they won't even mention that score now! They truely FEAR THDE KIFFIN!!

orange__hammerhead writes:

in response to SWAVol:

I will settle for JC for most improved. I hope this train keeps rollin. I am not sure if we are ready for all of the big boys but nobody gave the 85 sugar bowl team a shot against Miami. That is why we play the games and I will take heart any day of the week.

I was there baby

I was smashed in the first row balcony endzone, pouring beer down on the Miami dogs

hungover for 18 hours

best food in the world

BillsBrother writes:

in response to robvols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We probably had the only offense in the nation with a "lock-in" feature and a bounce-pass option.

It will be interesting to see if Bowling Green runs the same plays.

BasketVols writes:

in response to BillsBrother:

We probably had the only offense in the nation with a "lock-in" feature and a bounce-pass option.

It will be interesting to see if Bowling Green runs the same plays.

Maybe Clawson should coach rugby.

jt1369w writes:

I just want receivers to catch the balls that should be caught.

KiFFiNOMiCS writes:

in response to golfballs03:

Not a great write-up by scouts inc, and only gets a 74. But I read about him at a recent camp and he got awesome reviews. Almost like a diamond in the rough. I'll take all the help we can muster at OL, but I hope we can lock down some better prospects... like James Stone! Any word on him???

I haven't heard anything more than anyone else....but if Jacques Smith has anything to do with it he'll be a VOL.

Jacques Smith is a VERY VOCAL KID...IMO this kid will be our next "AL WILSON"....this kid will be the face of the program after Eric Berry is gone. He is trying to put his 2 cents in on every kid he comes in contact with to be a VOL.

But back to Stone...if we land Jesse Scroggins then James Stone is VOL IMO...and hopefully Kyle Prater too. That is how big getting a big time QB recruit is...the Game Breakers will follow a big time recruit.

All the Shuler/Manning haters out there don't understand that. All that offensive fire power we had back in the late 90's that got us a NC & early 2000's was because they followed those 2 guys to TN for a shot at a Nat'l Championship.

Before this week is over hopefully we will know if Scroggins is learning the words of Rocky Top!!!

MidTennVol writes:

Jonathan, the vast majority of us out here have faith in you and want you to succeed. Ignore those with room-temperature IQs.

This is YOUR season coming up. You've been through a lot, more than most college QBs. You've earned the right to lead out team and win us some games.

Show us all what you know about the game. Good luck.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

The thing is, we just don't know how JC will play until the season starts. Being enthusiastic is great but hold any weight with me you need to produce wins, which isn't the easiest thing to do in a conference as good as the SEC.

I would settle for if he just completes passes to our team. He has always talked better than he has played. Go Vols

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