Pope looking for a job

Sophomore hopes to move from utility role to starter at offensive tackle

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UT football players Rico McCoy, Montario Hardesty, Gerald Jones and Nick Stephens speak to the media on the first day of Spring practice.

UT football players Rico McCoy, Montario Hardesty, Gerald Jones and Nick Stephens speak to the media on the first day of Spring practice. Watch »

Tennessee's search for offensive tackles officially began Tuesday when the Vols opened spring camp.

Cody Pope is candidate No. 1.

"It's a big need right now," the 6-foot-6, 288-pound sophomore said. "As all the coaches said, all the positions are open. We had a couple of tackles leave last year so I'm trying to get in there."

As part of UT's transition to a new coaching staff, the Vols lost Preston Bailey, Ramon Foster and Ramone Johnson from last year's squad for a variety of reasons.

UT also lost All-American guards Anthony Parker to graduation and Darius Myers, who was never reinstated following a disciplinary issue last season.

The Vols have four experienced senior offensive linemen this season.

There's a slight renovation needed right away and a major rebuilding project for 2009. Offensive tackle is at the center of each endeavor.

Pope has made an impression, likely based off his offseason workouts.

"Attitude speaks volumes for coaches but you've really got to bring it to the field," the California native said. "I've got a lot to improve on just like everybody else."

Pope has come a long way. He enrolled at UT in 2006, only to be told he didn't qualify academically and was subsequently sent home during fall camp.

Since his return, he's been a backup utility man, playing every position on the offensive line - often with the scout team.

For now, Pope is focusing on one position - right tackle.

"Anywhere from kicker to quarterback, if you can play one position, it's definitely a luxury," Pope said. "This is not high school. You're going against guys with so many skills."

Pope isn't celebrating just yet. He knows that starting the spring at tackle is a long way from starting the season.

"You can't say I'm confident, not yet," Pope said. "I've still got a lot to learn."

Williams' New Way: Football fanatics will notice a difference in UT's defensive line this fall.

Instead of playing a right and left defensive tackle, the Vols will play a nose guard and tackle.

That means the nose guard will line up off one of the center's shoulders instead of lined up opposite the offensive guard.

The change should make learning UT's defensive line positions easier. One player will be expected to play one position.

UT's tackles were expected to master both in the previous system.

Senior Dan Williams figures to be UT's first-team nose guard this season.

He began spring practice at that position.

"The nose is probably a little freer," Williams said of his ability to make plays in the new system.

Williams returned to UT for his senior season after taking a long look at entering April's NFL draft.

Williams said UT's hiring of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was a major factor in his decision.

"He's been where I want to be," Williams said.

Gerald's Game: Gerald Williams was pleased with his first day at linebacker under UT's new coaching staff.

"Things are looking good so far," Williams said.

It remains to be seen if Williams can hold onto his position. Many think he is better suited to play defensive end.

"I really haven't thought about it," Williams said of a potential position switch. "I'm at linebacker right now and that's what I'm focused on."

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Comments » 186

dvhill100 writes:

Keep putting them where you want them LK.

jphilli5#240013 writes:

Good, it can't hurt to try new people in old positions. Sometimes it helps to just be assigned, start over and grow. This is fine with me.

4114 writes:

Mr Pope stated:
"Anywhere from kicker to quarterback, if you can play one position, it's definitely a luxury," Pope said. "This is not high school. You're going against guys with so many skills."

Let's all hope that this team's offense plays better than
a high school team. Any improvement over last year will help
erase the S****y taste that still lingers.

CT_VOL writes:

Pope is the man. Never played ball until high school and enjoys hitting people! Go big red!

Frank

bobbytodd writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on now. You don't really want that do you? I like his talent but this one makes me nervous. Of course I see him going to LSU anyway.

promiselandfarm writes:

plasticman- why do you get that feeling about Bryce Brown?

UTROX writes:

Good luck Pope!!! Love the attitude and dedication!!! Hope this is transfering to the rest of the team!!!!!!

gcscvol writes:

Brown to UT...Book It

volunteer_cowboy writes:

we dont need brown as bad as brown needs us. He and his AGENT will be trouble

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well hey, the three of you can go job hunting together...still going to guess after Lane's antics you will still wouldn't be hired ahead of him. Then again its illegal to hire 12 year olds who don't know anything.

Docrok writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

While I am leary of this guy I think Kiffin runs a pretty tight ship and wont allow him to damage the program! However I will not be disappointed if we do not land Brown! I really feel the stable of backs we already have is going to be able to carry us! They are very talented and we already landed Toney Williams and David Oku, that makes 5! Can Brown really be that much better than Creer or Hardesty or Poole or Oku or Williams? I dont know but if he comes we will find out!

Hudro writes:

A couple of years ago I read where this kid was a vegetarian. I wondered if he would be able to put on the weight needed to play on the line in the SEC. If he is truly 288 then he is close enough to 300 but a little under the weight that many other off. lineman play at. Hopefully he can move his feet and this is the best weight for him.

bobbytodd writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All right fatty, its time for you to sign off the pc and head down to the basement so me and your mommy can have some alone time. I have a new toy I want to try out and she loves to mix things up.

bobbytodd writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your so stupid if you actually believe that.

bobbytodd writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm finished anyway. Now what is your daughters number again?

VOLS_R_BEST_DEAL_WITH_IT writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well I know a number of ppl who hate urban weiner, that dumb cry baby/ promoting crime among his players. Lane runs a tight ship and it would so you some good to FEAR THE KIFFIN
VOLS>GATORS

windy writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You only wish he was a loser. You won't be back on this site after UT beats your butt down there this year, and we will sing ROCKY TOP all night.

bobbytodd writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ding ding ding...we have a winner.

DLuckySeven writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

utfpmd writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gee, that's too bad. Now you'll have to find someone else to go to the NIT tourney with you.

Halls3 writes:

Wow some of the tasteless comments on this site just absolute disgust me. Even if it is gatorzz that's still as classless as it was for Kiffin to tell that kid he'd pump gas the rest of his life. Anyways this Pope kid should be good at the new position as long as he can be quick off the snap because some DEs will blow you out of the water if you're not right with the snap. Oh & for whoever asked about wanting a 6'6' center I think Boston College's center was that tall last year.

BrandiVol writes:

You know guys, I've had an employer say negative things about the company hiring me away before and I didn't whine about it nearly as much as I've heard coming from this alleged event. I really fail to see what the big deal is.

Kiffin has been hired as the head coach and won't be going anywhere for AT LEAST a year. Fact. Get over it. I'm ready to give him a chance and I don't expect miracles. I respect Coach Fulmer for what he was able to accomplish during most of his tenure, but it was his time to leave.

On that note, he was not able to verbally joust with spurrier, who often said things just as bad about Tennessee. At least Kiffin takes on the "big boys" in the SEC without fear. Spurrier jabbing at Fulmer, who presented an easy target and refused to jab back, was just cowardly.

BrandiVol writes:

in response to BrandiVol:

You know guys, I've had an employer say negative things about the company hiring me away before and I didn't whine about it nearly as much as I've heard coming from this alleged event. I really fail to see what the big deal is.

Kiffin has been hired as the head coach and won't be going anywhere for AT LEAST a year. Fact. Get over it. I'm ready to give him a chance and I don't expect miracles. I respect Coach Fulmer for what he was able to accomplish during most of his tenure, but it was his time to leave.

On that note, he was not able to verbally joust with spurrier, who often said things just as bad about Tennessee. At least Kiffin takes on the "big boys" in the SEC without fear. Spurrier jabbing at Fulmer, who presented an easy target and refused to jab back, was just cowardly.

Whoops...clicked on the wrong story to post on. Sorry for the confusion. But I stand by my post!

anyonebutfulmer writes:

i've seen pope on the sideline. this guys is NOT a baller. at all. i could pancake him. and i'm 160. looks like he should be playing videogames in his dorm room.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to 4114:

Mr Pope stated:
"Anywhere from kicker to quarterback, if you can play one position, it's definitely a luxury," Pope said. "This is not high school. You're going against guys with so many skills."

Let's all hope that this team's offense plays better than
a high school team. Any improvement over last year will help
erase the S****y taste that still lingers.

I here ya...

I've tried to erase last year with a whole he11uva alot of frost brewed theropy.Really dont think the ole liver could handle what it would take to get rid of that taste.

Its gonna take some Tennessee a55 kickin football.

Well...until then I'll just continue my theropy.

hgjmoore#258236 writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm with you Rich. Brown could be a legit Heisman candidate if used properly ala Bush. Each time we have a Berry, Manning, Lewis, White, Haynesworth, etc the program benefits big time on the recruiting trail which is where we need to win in order to beat the best. I'm tried of hearing about the Tebows, Jones, Marenos, etc. I want to hear about more Berrys who are wearing the T. Go Vols!

belayvol writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Most likely in abject frustration and disappointment. God rest her soul.

fpcoach writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

if you're old enough that your mom died 15 yrs ago, you are pathetic. Hard to believe an adult would make the comments you make.

oldvolsfan writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

STUPID

txvolsfan writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IRRELEVANT

franktennessee writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gatorzz, I don't generally post on any of these boards. This one, ESPN or CBS, any of them.I am just curious though as to why in the **** would a Gator fan even be on a UT Board. Haven't you enough to talk about on the Gator board? Seems very strange indeed that someone who claims to be a Gator Fan would even want to discuss Tennessee Football. Your an odd one for sure. I see your posts and they just don't add up. In other words ,they are silly, immature remarks by someone who is maybe 18 to 19 years old but acts and thinks like my grand child of 2. Why is that Gator Z? Please go home to Florida or whereever you come from. Maybe it is where all Gator fans live? Under A Rock!! Oh and by the way, Coach Kiffin isn't going anywhere unless he has a losing season and I just don't see that is going to happen. He is Smart, Articulate, Savvy, an excellent recruiter and oh did I mention Smart. Yes I Did! Bye BYe Gator Z

Docrok writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When Joe McKnight came out he was the number one player in the country. The jury has yet to reach a verdict on him but it aint looking good! Terrelle Pryor while he started as a freshmen we have yet to see him make a significant impact! Will he this year? I don't really know! But I still disagree that Brown is that much better than the backs we have here! As I stated before I think Kiffin can keep a lid on him! I was merely stating that we already have the #1 APB in Oku coming in and Williams coming in, size of him makes him appear to be quite the bruiser! Plus our other RB's! I am not saying he will be trouble cause chances are he wont, I am saying can he really be that much better than what we have now!

GerryOP writes:

177 -- Fear The Kiffin...

GreenDevilVol writes:

Have you all noticed Vol fans; that most of the haters and their comments on here and other sites is for one reason....FEAR !!!!! Not knocking CPF,but for to long he was the whipping boy for to many teams,and was just to idle in taking care of bizz !!

Not any more,the free ride on UT is over; this staff and its players will not endure the lack there of in confidence, teamwork, and flat out hard nosed,smash mouth football.

We now have a group of coaches that really want this to click, and what is better the players will and have bought into it.We may lose to Fl and Ga this year, but I will put $1000 on both those games that neither will beat us by 40 + like they have claimed to do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the time the O&W Game rolls around, and I'm going to see for myself; the difference a year of hard work, and dedication does.This is not play football by seniority anymore,this is earn your keep and force the other guy out with better play. I feel confident that only the best will hit the field !!!!!!!

GreenDevilVol writes:

Remember Vols Oku and Brown talked about playing together !! Not saying that they should red-shirt but having them learn the system, then having four years to run all over the SEC would be grandeur.

Either one and I hope we end up with both can only improve and let the recruits out there in football land know that UT is only wanting and needing the best for the program.

orangebloodgmc writes:

Gerald Williams ...
"Many think he is better suited to play defensive end."

Many others think he is a natural middle linebacker.

spivol writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank God. At least she can't make anymore clowns like you. You just made my day.

hotrodvol writes:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sha...

Here is some good news and a big receiver.

StroVol writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

stfup!!! How can you post on this board every fu..ing minute! This obsession you have with Lane Kiffin has gone too far. Did some UT fans Kick the sh.. out of you at a Tenn/Fl game in the past. Something happened. You are a FREAK

hotrodvol writes:

Ignore the trash that is more obsessed with UT than most UT fans.

Here is another good article about the VOLS.
http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootb...

jimr07 writes:

People, look at how many posts were made by the gator jerk and the replies to him. Almost unanimosly, we do not like them coming on here but yet they take up at least 50% of all the posts. I wish KNS would go back to a pay site.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to jimr07:

People, look at how many posts were made by the gator jerk and the replies to him. Almost unanimosly, we do not like them coming on here but yet they take up at least 50% of all the posts. I wish KNS would go back to a pay site.

CLK is in their head. Here it is...
http://www.scout.com/a.z?s=143&p=...

Jim, I try my best to ignore them, also the VOLS will be in pads Friday.

crappieking writes:

in response to hgjmoore#258236:

I'm with you Rich. Brown could be a legit Heisman candidate if used properly ala Bush. Each time we have a Berry, Manning, Lewis, White, Haynesworth, etc the program benefits big time on the recruiting trail which is where we need to win in order to beat the best. I'm tried of hearing about the Tebows, Jones, Marenos, etc. I want to hear about more Berrys who are wearing the T. Go Vols!

We need Brown and he needs us. His father is looking at our staff and seeing his son in the Pro's. A Oku/Brown 1-2 punch would be awesome. Remember the days of Webb/Cobb
Lewis/Henry. We were unstoppable. Add Jake Heaps next year and sit Coleman and Stephens. We are on the rise boys! Go Vols!

Volunatic writes:

in response to anyonebutfulmer:

i've seen pope on the sideline. this guys is NOT a baller. at all. i could pancake him. and i'm 160. looks like he should be playing videogames in his dorm room.

I thought "pancake" was when an O-lineman clobbered a D-lineman, not the other way around.
Pope will do fine, ABF.

Volunatic writes:

I don't blame Gatorzz for gloating on this site. It's the only thing about his life that is even remotely worthwhile, because uf has won the past 4 against UT. Gloat while you have a chance.
I think he sees the writing on the wall-- the Vols are going to beat florida this september.

therewillbeorange writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

4th highest paid staff in the SEC....whats your point?

GREATVOLSAFIRE writes:

Gayz go lay down its nap time! GO VOLS!!!!

StroVol writes:

Urban Meyer hangs "Cheating Quote" in Florida locker room. How sad for the National Champs to be motivated by the vols right now. I guess our staff is the one to fear this year. Florida's days seem to be numbered. One last chance for glory with Tebow and then we begin a new chapter for Florida football.

Basketball_Jones writes:

I just saw on rivals that Nick Montana doesn't even have us on his list. Why is he getting offers from Bama, ND, Stanford and so on and we can't offer him. Also noticed that Jake Heaps is not even the top QB next year. Right now Rivals doesn't even have him as in the Top 100 players. Tis QB situation has me a little bit worried.

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