Tennessee safety Prentiss Waggner turned the field and some heads during the Vols' scrimmage Saturday at Haslam Field.
The redshirt freshman turned in one of the most impressive plays of the scrimmage when he returned an interception for a touchdown.
"It was Cover 2," Waggner said. "I read the quarterback's eyes and just broke on the ball to make a play."
Waggner would have had another interception if not for a penalty that was called on another defender that didn't affect the play.
"It was a big relief for me," Waggner said of his big day. "Coming in the spring, I was looking to make plays and impress the coaches."
"Unbelievable football player," defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza said of Waggner. "He's probably made the most progress from Day One to the practice today.
"He really, really did an unbelievable job out there. He stood out to me. Big hits. Big interceptions. Just big plays overall. He's a pleasant surprise. He's definitely going to be a player for us I think."
Waggner said he felt like he made a statement Saturday.
"I think it tells them that I have good ball skills and that I'm willing to do whatever to get my team off the field," the former Clinton (La.) High School standout said. "I'm also a playmaker when I get the ball in my hands."
Injury Update: Cornerback Brent Vinson will undergo surgery to repair his ailing left shoulder following spring practice.
The junior should be ready by preseason practice and can still participate in the remaining two weeks of spring drills, although he could be somewhat limited.
"It's hurting him quite a bit," Garza said. "As far as him learning the defense and getting acclimated to what we want from him and just team chemistry, it's hurting him. The more reps you get, the better off you're going to be.
"You can't get better in the training room."
Vinson suffered a shoulder separation on March 14. The joint has been an issue for quite some time, often causing Vinson to pull himself out of practice.
Scrimmage Stuff: Tailback Montario Hardesty said UT's offense started to jell after converting a third-and-11 early in the 120-play scrimmage.
"In the scrimmage, we started to forget (bad) plays and go on," the senior said.
Receiver Quinton Hancock caught two touchdown passes during UT's goal line scrimmage. One came when the senior slipped and fell yet still caught the pass from his knees. The other came amid tight coverage.
UT blew the final horn three times. On two occasions the Vols excitedly ran back out onto the field and continued to practice.
Tailback Talk: UT's offense seems ready to lean on the running game, even converting some third-and-shorts - relatively easily compared to last season.
"I definitely know that our offense wants to get after it run blocking," Hardesty said. "We didn't run the ball good last year. With this scheme, I think we can do that."
Hardesty said he's also been impressed with sophomore tailback Taurean Poole.
"Taurean comes out ready to compete every day," Hardesty said. "He's been doing some good things out there and I want him to keep pushing me."
Injury Report: Tailback Lennon Creer had to be helped to the sideline when he got caught up in a pile of players. The junior had his left knee examined and eventually returned to practice.
Offensive lineman William Brimfield has been limited by a hamstring injury, according to head athletic trainer Jason McVeigh.
Quarterback Nick Stephens threw more, although he iced his right wrist during practice.
Visitors: UT basketball coaches Bruce Pearl, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay visited practice along with basketball prospect Melvin Goins. The point guard from Mount San Jacinto (Calif.) Junior College is visiting Knoxville this weekend.