Oku not in touch with Brown

There's no indication running back Bryce Brown will rejoin Tennessee's football team. And it's questionable how welcome he would be if he did.

Running back David Oku was asked after Thursday's spring scrimmage if he thought it would "create hostility on the team" if Brown was allowed to return after not taking part in spring practice.

"Obviously, you think it would," Oku said. "Everybody has their own problems. Some people have problems but they play through them."

Oku said he hadn't talked to Brown in "two or three weeks."

Brown left the team on the first day of spring practice. UT coach Derek Dooley said Brown told him he was dealing with family and personal problems. Dooley said he hasn't spoken to Brown since then.

The coach was asked if Brown would be allowed to return if he chose to do so.

"Bryce has never indicated he wanted to do that," Dooley said. "So it would be pointless to speak on it."

Brown, the No. 1-ranked running back in the 2009 recruiting class, was the most celebrated signee of former UT coach Lane Kiffin.

There has been widespread speculation that Brown will transfer to Kansas State. He played high school football in Wichita, Kan.

Poole At It Again: Coaches come and go, but running back Tauren Poole keeps coming up big in scrimmages. He did it again Thursday, carrying nine times for 94 yards.

Despite stellar performances in spring and preseason scrimmages last year, Poole carried only seven times during the regular season in 2009. With the departure of leading rusher Montario Hardesty, Poole figures to play a prominent role in UT's rushing game.

Oku carried 14 times for 23 yards, and scored two touchdowns in goal-line drills. Toney Williams carried seven times for 12 yards.

Struggling Line: UT's all-new offensive line didn't provide any surprises in the first scrimmage.

"It's about what you would have expected with five new faces starting out there," Dooley said. "It's going to take some time."

As for center Victor Thomas, a converted defensive tackle, Dooley said, "He's got the toughest task, because not only is he new (at starting), he's new on the offensive line and now he's got to snap."

Oku singled out Thomas and JerQuari Schofield when asked what offensive linemen impressed him in the scrimmage.

On The Move: No matter where the coaches have sent him in his two years at UT, Rod Wilks has remained upbeat. He's at strong safety this spring after being moved to wide receiver last fall.

A brief review on Wilks' position odyssey: A star wide receiver at Smyrna High School, he was moved to linebacker, then to the secondary, back to wide receiver and now safety.

"I'm a team player," he said. "I've been moved quite a bit, but all I can do is stay focused and stay positive."

Dooley decided to make the latest switch after evaluating the numbers at positions.

"We had a lot of guys at wideout, and we signed a number of wide receivers," Dooley said. "And we didn't have a lot of guys in the secondary.

"Rod's a bigger body type who can make that transition. He's doing some good things (at strong safety)."

Offensive Impression: UT defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox noticed a significant change in Louisiana Tech after Dooley's arrival as coach.

"We played them before he got there and we played them after," said Wilcox, who was Boise State's defensive coordinator before joining Dooley's new staff at UT. "You definitely could see a change in the attitude and how they handled situations.

"They really kind of forced your hand. They always had an answer."

Louisiana Tech scored 35 points in a 10-point loss to unbeaten Boise State last season. That was a season-high against Boise State's defense, which gave up a combined 18 points to nationally ranked Oregon and TCU.

Injury Update: Defensive end Ben Martin (knee) and linebacker Greg King (knee) were both wearing red jerseys, indicating they didn't take part in the scrimmage.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS

Rushing Leaders: Tauren Poole 9 for 94 yards, TD; David Oku 14 for 23 yards; Toney Williams 7 for 12 yards.

Passing Leaders: Nick Stephens 3-of-9, 6 yards; Matt Simms 6-of-20, 83 yards, TD, int.; Tyler Bray 8-of-13, 69 yards, TD, int.

Receiving Leaders: Marsalis Teague 2 for 29 yards; Gerald Jones 2 for 16 yards; Matt Milton 2 for 11 yards; Zach Rogers 1 for 22 yards, TD; Kevin Cooper 1 for 18 yards; Ted Meline 1 for 14 yards, TD; Ben Lehning 1 for 12 yards; Todd Campbell 1 for 10 yards.

Tackles Leaders: Austin Johnson 8 tackles, 2 TFL (-6) + sack (-4), int.; Herman Lathers 7 tackles, TFL (-1) + sack (-5), QB hurry; Shane Reveiz 6 tackles; Jacques Smith 6 tackles; Willie Bohannon 6 tackles, 2 TFL (-5), QB hurry; Montori Hughes 5 tackles, TFL (-1), 2 PBU; Chris Walker 4 tackles, 2 sacks (-13), QB hurry; Janzen Jackson 2 tackles, int.

Offensive Starters: Tackles Dallas Thomas and Ja’Wuan James, guards JerQuari Schofield and Jarrod Shaw, center Victor Thomas, tight end Luke Stocker, wide receivers Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones; fullback Kevin Cooper, tailback Tauren Poole, quarterback Nick Stephens

Defensive Starters: Ends Chris Walker and Gerald Williams, tackles Montori Hughes and Marlon Walls; linebackers LaMarcus Thompson, Herman Lathers and Austin Johnson; cornerbacks Eric Gordon and Naz Oliver, safeties Janzen Jackson and Darren Myles Jr.

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Comments » 52

SEAL_9821 writes:

Great attitude Rod Wilkes.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

Poole is da man!! He's Hardesty The Sequel!

vols2#227315 writes:

Put tyler bray in as back up to Stephens, and Simms third string, Ut does not need a transfer from Louisville to be a quarterback at Ut.

CoverOrange writes:

KNS must be lacking depth too if JA is out on the field working.

cltvol writes:

throw brown off the team yesterday,,,let him take his primma donna game to wherever,,,his best days are behind him

vol_in_bigten_land writes:

Austin Johnson is going to be the next real deal LB from UT!

Huttdawg100 writes:

I'm looking forward to a full feature story from ESPN on Poole in a year or two. His story will be epic. "Spurned by the deceitful Lane Kiffin, Tauren Poole emerged from burning depths to become a Heisman hopeful". Herby, Corso and Dr. Lou had better get ready!

bugman (Inactive) writes:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

lovinthebigorange writes:

Really glad to hear that Poole is stepping up! He had a really good performance under Fulmer despite a bad season. I'm glad that Janzen Jackson is producing early! I hope and believe that we will be a sleeper team this year despite our weaknesses in the O-line!

scvols writes:

Poole is going to have a big year.

charles57#1378642 writes:

Bugman. 10 wins, 2 losses! Bet on it!

vut56#231073 writes:

Overall, mostly news, no problem. However, the question "will it cause hostility if Brown returns....." is uncalled for. That is a do you still beat your wife question. If Oku says or implies, "yes," which he did, that sets up the he said/she said scenario, in the event Brown does show up. If Oku says "no," that belittles the importance of being at practice.

Dooley has said the correct things: Brown is not with the team, Brown has given no incliniation he will rejoin the team, Brown has given no indication if or when he will go elsewhere...hence, there is nothing to say about Brown.

Therefore, this question digs to create the impression of news when there is no news...through the words of Oku, a rather innocent bystander, who is being used.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

Overall, mostly news, no problem. However, the question "will it cause hostility if Brown returns....." is uncalled for. That is a do you still beat your wife question. If Oku says or implies, "yes," which he did, that sets up the he said/she said scenario, in the event Brown does show up. If Oku says "no," that belittles the importance of being at practice.

Dooley has said the correct things: Brown is not with the team, Brown has given no incliniation he will rejoin the team, Brown has given no indication if or when he will go elsewhere...hence, there is nothing to say about Brown.

Therefore, this question digs to create the impression of news when there is no news...through the words of Oku, a rather innocent bystander, who is being used.

Adams was not "creating the impression of news." Geez, man. He asked the guy a probing question, which was especially relevant because last year they were competing for the same position. Oku, to his credit, gave him a good, honest answer. Reporters strive to ask tough questions that will lead to a good quote. That's what good sports writing is all about. You sound like Urban Meyer after an Orlando Sentinel story on his lost-love quarterback.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

Overall, mostly news, no problem. However, the question "will it cause hostility if Brown returns....." is uncalled for. That is a do you still beat your wife question. If Oku says or implies, "yes," which he did, that sets up the he said/she said scenario, in the event Brown does show up. If Oku says "no," that belittles the importance of being at practice.

Dooley has said the correct things: Brown is not with the team, Brown has given no incliniation he will rejoin the team, Brown has given no indication if or when he will go elsewhere...hence, there is nothing to say about Brown.

Therefore, this question digs to create the impression of news when there is no news...through the words of Oku, a rather innocent bystander, who is being used.

The question is "When did you stop beating your wife" It starts with a presumption :)

It's a very adaptable expression. For example, DC when did you stop being another idiot Florida fan.....

keepitreal4vols writes:

Yikes, our QB's have accuracy issues (or our WR's can't catch.)

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to vols2#227315:

Put tyler bray in as back up to Stephens, and Simms third string, Ut does not need a transfer from Louisville to be a quarterback at Ut.

3-9 6 yrds

that makes sense

you a talent scout?

UCFgradVOLatHEART writes:

I am tired of hearing about Bryce Brown. If he does not want to be here so be it. I will wish him nothing but the best. He was a Vol for a brief period, but that period looks to be over. We have a stable of stud RB's that want to get on the field. DD is moving on I wish the local reporters would also. BTW how many days has it been since Hooker has not commented on Lane? Is the man crush over?

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to UCFgradVOLatHEART:

I am tired of hearing about Bryce Brown. If he does not want to be here so be it. I will wish him nothing but the best. He was a Vol for a brief period, but that period looks to be over. We have a stable of stud RB's that want to get on the field. DD is moving on I wish the local reporters would also. BTW how many days has it been since Hooker has not commented on Lane? Is the man crush over?

I agree, first it was all Kiffin, now all Brown. I too wish Bryce the best, it's tough when mom,dad,and brother want you in Kansas. Let's concentrate on those who are here.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Bryce who?

ric1958 writes:

in response to bugman:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

Ahhhh, you sir are an idiot.

TLepage writes:

Looks like Austin Johnson was in beast mode today.... I hope the move to LB works out for him and its looking like he is adapting well so far.... Go Vols.......

littlec195360#215853 writes:

Does anyone know how many scholarship players we now have? It is my understanding that we are well below the limit of 85.

txvolsfan writes:

Our secondary still looks stacked!!!

gnm53108 writes:

Pound the rock.

xpsyclonex2002 writes:

This year we are gonna take a few a** whoopin's. It's gonna happen. Next year, look out we are gonna shock some people. 3 to 4 years, we are gonna be in the thick of it all again.

volfan53 writes:

in response to bugman:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

It's obvious we are going to be horrible. Look at how little we have done with all this practice. Oh, snap, we have only been practicing for a short time. I guess some people with little knowledge and big egos think we should be at the pro level after such a short period of time. Get a clue bugman. This is spring practice. There are a lot of people playing a new position and it takes a little time to get all the timing down and to get comfortable with what you are doing. I guess all the guys not getting here till this summer are just going to have to not play because there is no way they can live up to your standards.

My guess is you do not nor have ever played sports because 1. you are too slow and uncoordinated, 2. you are too small to play any sport (except miniature golf), or 3. you could not pick up any sport quick enough to be a professional in two weeks so you quit. If I had to place a bet on which one it is I would say all of the above.

Start looking at this through realistic eyes. It is fans like you who make it miserable for the rest of us.

I am not a betting man but I would take your money that we will a lot better than you think.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to vut56#231073:

Overall, mostly news, no problem. However, the question "will it cause hostility if Brown returns....." is uncalled for. That is a do you still beat your wife question. If Oku says or implies, "yes," which he did, that sets up the he said/she said scenario, in the event Brown does show up. If Oku says "no," that belittles the importance of being at practice.

Dooley has said the correct things: Brown is not with the team, Brown has given no incliniation he will rejoin the team, Brown has given no indication if or when he will go elsewhere...hence, there is nothing to say about Brown.

Therefore, this question digs to create the impression of news when there is no news...through the words of Oku, a rather innocent bystander, who is being used.

I think it was a very important question. It shows the disruption the whole Brown scenario is causing, and how Dooley letting this drag out could effect team chemistry. Dooley's response is just beating around the bush. How can he say there is nothing to say about Brown when he shows up to watch practice, but doesnt participate? What he needs to say is Brown IS NOT and WILL NOT be a part of this team. That anyone who sits out of practice while others are working their tails off will not be welcome back on the team they abandoned. Brown has had plenty of time to decide already and Dooley needs to take a firm stance instead of avoiding and leaving the door open. If by chance he does let BB back on the team, the locker room will be divided and not playing as a team will make this next season even worse.

beachvol1 writes:

Way to speak up Oku!!! Tell it like it is...BBrown needs to go on to KState and be with his family..Poole is definitely the man and hopefully he can stay healthly and the OL can open a few holes for him...maybe our QB situation will improve, but how can it not?

Tennacious writes:

in response to vols2#227315:

Put tyler bray in as back up to Stephens, and Simms third string, Ut does not need a transfer from Louisville to be a quarterback at Ut.

The best players play, doesn't matter where they are from. Who gives the team the best chance to win? Could be a native Tennessean, a Georgian, a Floridian, a Californian, a Texan or a Martian for that matter.

Volmania writes:

No matter what some people are saying, we are going to miss Bryce Brown. Poole or Williams can step up, but BB is going to be way better. It's obvious when you look at his tools and how he runs. I'm a little tired of the sour grapes from Vol fans that now think BB is not good. We will be fine, but don't act like BB is not good or we did not want him. I would love to have him back.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to Volmania:

No matter what some people are saying, we are going to miss Bryce Brown. Poole or Williams can step up, but BB is going to be way better. It's obvious when you look at his tools and how he runs. I'm a little tired of the sour grapes from Vol fans that now think BB is not good. We will be fine, but don't act like BB is not good or we did not want him. I would love to have him back.

I agree Brown will eventually be a good running back, but disagree that he is going to be way better than Poole or Williams. In my very unprofessional opinion he in no way lived up to the great hype that was placed upon him. Look at the freshman at Bama (Richardson I think was his name). He actually looked better than Brown and I dare say had better stats. Not a Bama fan by any means, just trying to keep it real.

If Brown is not happy being a Vol, then move on. His return would very possibly be bad for team chemistry which in my view is a very important intangible.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree that letting a player take a break for personal issues such as sick parents or death in the family, but it seems to me that the only personal issue BB has is deciding where he wants to play football. And that to me isnt good enough reason to leave the team in limbo. For the sake of team chemistry, Dooley needs to do what he's paid to do and make the decision for BB. Why doesnt he just say. BB will NOT be coming back.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Think about it from the backfield players who are still on the team and currently going thru workouts/weights/drills. These players knew BB was probably going to be #1 on the depth chart with MH gone and how would YOU feel if this guy was going to sit out all this spring practice and meetings and then slide back in at his convenience despite all of your hard work???

I would be pizzed too.

Good luck BB. We don't need another bighead here.

joshvols writes:

I know this is off-topic, but has anybody seen the article in the chattanooga free press about the four georgia bulldog players that were threatening the lives of a married couple and smacking them around in a taxi? the four haven't been named yet, but i think it shows what kind of program they are running in athens. I live in Ga, and i laugh everytime i hear someone talk about mark richt and how he is a stand up guy. Thats a joke. Although, i did hear that they are changing their name to better represent what they are about. It's going from University of Georgia to University of Gangbangers. Can't wait till we beat UGB this year!

volsoutwest writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you to a point but I do take issue with your statement that UT had better start importing thoroubreds. Wouldn't there be thoroughbreds in a top 10 recruiting class? Granted 10 is not first or second but I don't think it is anything to sneeze at either. Best I remember the mules had your Bama boys on the ropes til a couple of line drive kicks bounced off ole big boobs.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

in response to volfan53:

It's obvious we are going to be horrible. Look at how little we have done with all this practice. Oh, snap, we have only been practicing for a short time. I guess some people with little knowledge and big egos think we should be at the pro level after such a short period of time. Get a clue bugman. This is spring practice. There are a lot of people playing a new position and it takes a little time to get all the timing down and to get comfortable with what you are doing. I guess all the guys not getting here till this summer are just going to have to not play because there is no way they can live up to your standards.

My guess is you do not nor have ever played sports because 1. you are too slow and uncoordinated, 2. you are too small to play any sport (except miniature golf), or 3. you could not pick up any sport quick enough to be a professional in two weeks so you quit. If I had to place a bet on which one it is I would say all of the above.

Start looking at this through realistic eyes. It is fans like you who make it miserable for the rest of us.

I am not a betting man but I would take your money that we will a lot better than you think.

you see son. im a realist.the fact is this coaching staff will flop. the only reason we were above 500 last year is because of the coaching staff. just come to terms with yourself that tenn football is a joke

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to volfan53:

It's obvious we are going to be horrible. Look at how little we have done with all this practice. Oh, snap, we have only been practicing for a short time. I guess some people with little knowledge and big egos think we should be at the pro level after such a short period of time. Get a clue bugman. This is spring practice. There are a lot of people playing a new position and it takes a little time to get all the timing down and to get comfortable with what you are doing. I guess all the guys not getting here till this summer are just going to have to not play because there is no way they can live up to your standards.

My guess is you do not nor have ever played sports because 1. you are too slow and uncoordinated, 2. you are too small to play any sport (except miniature golf), or 3. you could not pick up any sport quick enough to be a professional in two weeks so you quit. If I had to place a bet on which one it is I would say all of the above.

Start looking at this through realistic eyes. It is fans like you who make it miserable for the rest of us.

I am not a betting man but I would take your money that we will a lot better than you think.

Well Said!!! This could probably be true for a few Vol fans that I know!!!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

I'm glad some people can see and predict the future for our football team and assuming that this season is gonna be a flop..The truth is that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE SEASON HOLDS.

theoldbear writes:

in response to bugman:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

I predicted 3-9 last year, and was pleasantly surprised with the record, but not much else.

Lane Kiffin ran off a lot of players. A lot of players left with Kiffin. The timing of Kiffin's departure gutted this year's recruiting class.

If Tennessee goes 3-9 next season, and they may, can that record be credited to Lane Kiffin's account? Or just Mike Hamilton's?

dynasty101 writes:

in response to bugman:

you see son. im a realist.the fact is this coaching staff will flop. the only reason we were above 500 last year is because of the coaching staff. just come to terms with yourself that tenn football is a joke

Moron-the only reason we won those games was a senior led offense, and EB on defense.

You must really suck at life to be so negative.

murrayvol writes:

in response to bugman:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

Wow, you have a brain roughly the size of a walnut and that's being generous.

murrayvol writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Bryce who?

Brown....I think.

UTSmokey04 writes:

It's a little early to say we'll be 3-9 or 10-2 or whatever other records we've thought up in our minds... looking at the schedule, and understanding our top talent is vastly freshman or sophomores, does anyone really fear LSU or Georgia? Honestly...?

And someone asked earlier if we had any all SEC performers on this team, I'd say two: Chris Walker and Janzen Jackson.

Orangeyouavol writes:

in response to bugman:

wow we're horrible 3-9 is my prediction and that's generous

your a douche

Orangeyouavol writes:

in response to volsoutwest:

I agree Brown will eventually be a good running back, but disagree that he is going to be way better than Poole or Williams. In my very unprofessional opinion he in no way lived up to the great hype that was placed upon him. Look at the freshman at Bama (Richardson I think was his name). He actually looked better than Brown and I dare say had better stats. Not a Bama fan by any means, just trying to keep it real.

If Brown is not happy being a Vol, then move on. His return would very possibly be bad for team chemistry which in my view is a very important intangible.

I highly agree, richardson looked way better than brown

Orangeyouavol writes:

Just wondering if anybody knows if they will be doing the vol walk at the orange and white game due to stadium construction.Check out pics at utsports.com and you will understand what i am talking about. Gate 21 and surrounding areas is no longer.

send writes:

in response to Orangeyouavol:

Just wondering if anybody knows if they will be doing the vol walk at the orange and white game due to stadium construction.Check out pics at utsports.com and you will understand what i am talking about. Gate 21 and surrounding areas is no longer.

no they wont its on that website

Orangeyouavol writes:

in response to send:

no they wont its on that website

ya ummm sorry, guess i didnt see that, but our stadium is starting to look awesome.

OrangePride writes:

I said this at the end of last year and I will say it again. Poole was the back most likely to replace Montario, not Brown. Poole was more explosive and more dynamic if he got just a little space. He's not as powerful, or at least was not as of last fall. Let's see what this spring and coaching staff do for his development.

537081 writes:

Hey looks like to me were undefeated. Coach D dress the walkons the waterboys and the cheerleaders Take a lesson from Bruce do your job the best you can it will work its way out. Oh yes incase you didn't see the games he beat #1and #2

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