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.
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.