For UT receivers, there's no comparison

Difference in roles makes it hard for Baggett to contrast

Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett, shown talking to Denarius Moore, has coached nine receivers who have had 1,000-yard seasons.

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett, shown talking to Denarius Moore, has coached nine receivers who have had 1,000-yard seasons.

The comparisons aren't perfect, so Charlie Baggett doesn't even try to make them.

Certainly freshman Da'Rick Rogers has the physical tools to pick up wherever senior Gerald Jones leaves off as a physical, versatile threat on third downs and rushing the football for the Tennessee receivers coach.

Obviously another young guy like Justin Hunter has proved he can stretch the field like the other veteran Denarius Moore did during his last season with the Vols as well.

But before getting carried away with the potential of his freshmen, Baggett isn't yet done with the seniors with one more game coming up later this month, which likely will be the Music City Bowl. UT might have an evolutionary version of its dynamic duo in the works, though the older guys are clearly helping set the foundation for them - and still setting the bar high by wrapping up their careers with some prolific numbers.

"That's hard, not a stretch, but it's hard to kind of compare guys," Baggett said last week. "Gerald has a lot of redeeming qualities, and one of them is his quickness, he can get in and out of breaks, he catches the ball well. Denarius has speed, he runs well and gets behind defenders, so they each have a set of skills that are different from each other, as do all players.

"Everybody is different, Da'Rick is different than Justin, so I don't think I can compare them to anybody. But I will say that they have done what they do the last few games. They've done it well, and I just hope it continues."

The season is continuing for the Vols (6-6, 3-5 SEC) thanks largely to the eye-popping numbers Moore and Jones posted during the four-game winning streak to clinch a bowl bid. The former caught a touchdown in each victory, and last week against Kentucky Moore went over 200 yards in a game for the second time this year. Jones balanced him with a sixth consecutive outing with at least four catches, again providing quarterback Tyler Bray with a security blanket to pick up first downs.

That finishing flurry helped the seniors take back some of the spotlight the newcomers had wrested away earlier in the season, though UT probably wouldn't be in a bowl without them, either.

Hunter added four touchdowns in the final month of the season, and Rogers was a critical component in the running game down the stretch as the Vols found a way to use both players despite some rough patches learning the offense and the finer points of route-running.

To some extent that's an area where the veterans have found another way to leave a legacy at UT, taking Hunter and Rogers under their wings when it might otherwise have been tempting to resent all the attention heaped on the prized recruits.

"I tell you what, I've been around that situation a lot of times over my 34 years in coaching," Baggett said. "I think they've handled it very well. It's got to be kind of - not disappointing - but you have to be conscious of the fact the young guys came in and took a little playing time away from them.

"They handled it very well, and they were great teammates to the young guys, motivated them, helped coach them and brought them along - I think they've handled that situation very well."

The benefits might truly show up when Moore and Jones are gone. But the Vols have one more month to go before they have to worry about that.

Swag for Waggner: The numbers are hard to ignore, and the fact Prentiss Waggner accumulated them while switching midseason from safety to cornerback surely added to his appeal.

That combination helped the sophomore earn second-team All-America honors from Scout.com on Tuesday, an award that would have been difficult to predict coming into the season given UT's uncertain situation in the secondary.

Waggner played a huge role in overcoming those issues, interception five passes, returning three for touchdowns, and also recovering three fumbles while playing both safety and corner during the year.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 45

mercyseat writes:

maybe Waggner can practice tackling now and try to be good at it and break some more records. He has gotten some better. anyway, that kid sure can ball hawk!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Congrats PW.

On to the bowl game and more moon shot passes.

DebtisDumb writes:

This secondary is going to be deadly in about two years if janzen jackson doesn't go pro. Brewer, Gordon, Wagner all freshmen

VolfanKY writes:

in response to DebtisDumb:

This secondary is going to be deadly in about two years if janzen jackson doesn't go pro. Brewer, Gordon, Wagner all freshmen

Waggner's actually a sophomore, but I know what you mean. I'm really excited for the future of this team with all the youth we have. Give this team a year or two and we'll really be a threat to score on both sides of the ball.

DebtisDumb writes:

VolfanKY writes:
in response to DebtisDumb:

This secondary is going to be deadly in about two years if janzen jackson doesn't go pro. Brewer, Gordon, Wagner all freshmen

Waggner's actually a sophomore, but I know what you mean. I'm really excited for the future of this team with all the youth we have. Give this team a year or two and we'll really be a threat to score on both sides of the ball.

You're right my bad. That what finals will do to ya :)

HtownVol writes:

in response to bankofdad3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Word is he was going to be ineligable anyway for grades I believe. Sucks for someone to have all that and end up with nothing. I hope he does well though.

Hunter, Rogers, Dallas and Arnett (sp) may end up being the best WR's in the SEC.

Anyone else see T Smith jumped from #76 RB to #26 on Rivals? Thats a huge jump. I want to see another great RB commit, but maybe Smith wont be so bad.

GO VOLS!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to mercyseat:

maybe Waggner can practice tackling now and try to be good at it and break some more records. He has gotten some better. anyway, that kid sure can ball hawk!

Prediction for 2011. After spending the off season working with Wylie's weight and training program, Prentiss will become a lock down corner and first team All SEC. You will never wonder about his tackling again.

It is almost unbelievable that we have CCB on our staff for the receivers. As the season progressed I began seeing why CDD brought Coach Joseph with him for the secondary. Another year with him is going to be big heading into next season.

Jimmy Hyams predicts 7 wins excluding the bowl next season. He says offense will be a little better and defense will slide down a little. He must be watching a different team and coaches than I am.

paden312 writes:

Let's not forget about Ted Meline and Matt Milton. Milton hasn't been able to see any prominent playing time this season and Meline, if I'm not mistaking, red shirted. Both are huge and will get better with time. I don't see Meline staying on the defensive side of the ball. WR looks like a strong position in the near future.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to paden312:

Let's not forget about Ted Meline and Matt Milton. Milton hasn't been able to see any prominent playing time this season and Meline, if I'm not mistaking, red shirted. Both are huge and will get better with time. I don't see Meline staying on the defensive side of the ball. WR looks like a strong position in the near future.

I'm going to toss Zach Rogers into the mix. Never underestimate the importance of a senior. Z Rogers is going to step it up next year, and replace Gerald Jones as Bray's security blanket. Long hair don't care.

paden312 writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

I'm going to toss Zach Rogers into the mix. Never underestimate the importance of a senior. Z Rogers is going to step it up next year, and replace Gerald Jones as Bray's security blanket. Long hair don't care.

The thing I noticed about the "white flash" (z Rogers) is that he doesn't jump when he catches every pass like his brother did. I think he'll be in the mix for sure, but with the addition of the new fresh and Meline and Milton seeing playing time, his role could be knocked down to Special teams. Plus he's only a sophomore so he'll be around for a while.

primetimevol writes:

in response to paden312:

Let's not forget about Ted Meline and Matt Milton. Milton hasn't been able to see any prominent playing time this season and Meline, if I'm not mistaking, red shirted. Both are huge and will get better with time. I don't see Meline staying on the defensive side of the ball. WR looks like a strong position in the near future.

Milton is a stud for me on PS3, especially in the 5 wide receiver set as the slot guy on the vertical play.

xRockyTopVolsx writes:

At 6 foot 6 inches, Milton should continue to hit the weights and make the transition to TE. I don't know how tough he is but I would say that would be his best shot at becoming a superstar and playing in the league. Hopefully he's open to it and has a mean streak to run block against SEC defenders. What a mismatch he could be for opposing teams!!!!

cloudodust writes:

For all, it's still a WIP until the bags are packed one last time. PW showed up big. Da'Rick, Hunter will be around in 2011 but there's Milton coming to an endzone near you, too. Bray won't be hurting for WR's but the experience of GJ, LS and DM will be missed.

To the OL : You've got a foundation that can move the ball. Do your part. May the Vols rock Smashville...

Vol86 writes:

This team next year will be loaded with great young talent. Another couple of good recruiting classes and everyone staying in school and order in the sec will be restored.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Yes, we are losing some great WR's, but with what we have left, and what we have coming in, we will do fine!

With Bray as QB, and these young men, TN will be "WR U" again. He can sling it, and they can catch it, and don't count out the TE's!

CroKev writes:

So did Matt Simms fall off the face of the earth? Man, it's gotta be tough for him. He faced all the tough competition in October and Bray got the easy ones in November. Don't get me wrong; I'd rather see Bray in there but you have to hurt a little bit for Simms. I hope he sticks around but we also have some top QB talent coming in.

nola_vol writes:

in response to CroKev:

So did Matt Simms fall off the face of the earth? Man, it's gotta be tough for him. He faced all the tough competition in October and Bray got the easy ones in November. Don't get me wrong; I'd rather see Bray in there but you have to hurt a little bit for Simms. I hope he sticks around but we also have some top QB talent coming in.

Agreed. Matt deserves some fan-love and appreciation. He hung in there like a man when the O-line was not yet capable of decent QB protection.

When we were at our worst as an offense, Simms was there—not causing it, but pushing the unit through it.

He definitely deserves banquet recognition and free Krystals from Bray through the rest of the semester!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to UTVOLSRROCKN:

Yes, we are losing some great WR's, but with what we have left, and what we have coming in, we will do fine!

With Bray as QB, and these young men, TN will be "WR U" again. He can sling it, and they can catch it, and don't count out the TE's!

Our 2010 class has the potential to be one of the best ever wr classes in Tennessee history.

Wide receiver U is back.

HtownVol writes:

Meline is a DB, right. Someone said not to forget him.

Volumni writes:

This just in: Hyams says Condredge Holloway will sign with Alabama.

BoroVolFan writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They're referring to the Beer Barrel. It was a rivalry trophy that used to be given annually to the winner of the UK-UT football game, but they did away with it a few years back. Google it and you should be able to find out all about it, but heres a pic:

http://www.mrsec.com/pics/beer-barrel...

rbhobbs73#226545 writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scooner,

For almost 100 years, the winner of the Tennessee-Kentucky football game kept a bourbon/whiskey barrel that was painted one side blue and the other side orange. The winning team kept the barrel on their campus for the year until the next game.

In 1998, Kentucky had a couple of football players die in a drunk driving car wreck the week of the Tennessee game and the barrel was taken away for PC purposes.

My guess is that is it is on permanent display in Knoxville since that is where it has stayed since 1985 anyway...

tnsportsman writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here you go ScoonerTN on the UT - KY Beer Barrel

History
The Barrel was introduced in 1925 by a group of former Kentucky students who wanted to create a material sign of supremacy for the rivalry. It was rolled onto the field that year with the words "Ice Water" painted on it to avoid any outcries over an alcohol drum symbolizing a college rivalry

Dropping The Tradition
An alcohol-related car crash involving two UK football players in 1998 prompted the end of the barrel exchange. The ceremony was cancelled for the 1998 season and the two schools mutually agreed to permanently discontinue the tradition before the 1999 game.

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Huttdawg100 writes:

Interesting article from scout:

http://tennessee.scout.com/2/1026848....

"If their first two days on the road recruiting is any indication of what’s in store the next eight weeks, things are definitely headed back in the right direction. You can also count on a few surprises from Dooley and his staff in February.

By the way you still can ask Santa for a few four stars, a five star perhaps, you never know what might happen with the holidays just around the corner."

I think that 5 star athlete from Santa will be Clemson commit Mike Bellamy.

VolsDoc81TX writes:

in response to ScoonerTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hi Scooner,

The Beer Barrel was the trophy for the annual UT-Uk football game. Not sure when it started, sorry. The winner from the prevfious year would bring it to the game...the winner of the game would parade it around the stadium and then take it with them for the following year.

It ended one year (cannot remember when) after Kentucky football players were killed in an alcohol related car wreck...not sure if they were hit by a drunk driver or if they were drunk. Anyway, to honor them and the UK family, it was decided to stop the beer barrel tradition. If I remember correctly, it happened during the season before the UT-Uk game.
It was stopped for honor, not to be politically correct as some people keep saying on these threads.

Hope that helps. It is still at UT, so I am sure that the story is part of the display.
Go Big Orange!

cloudodust writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Meline is a DB, right. Someone said not to forget him.

I read that too. If memory serves me correctly and from time to time, it doesn't, Meline was recuited and listed early on as a WR, on the roster now as a DB...
A future double-triple threat CDD sandbagged..? We'll see.

tnsportsman writes:

OUR VOLS need to focus on the Music City Bowl and protect the damn ball! CCD, Staff and OUR VOLS have come a long way this year in restoring Tennessee Traditions and Winning!

Our young WRs and DeAnthony Arnett signing will be huge for Tyler Bray and OUR VOLS!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Party Time 2nd Avenue Style in Music City the 28th through 30th! NYE at home this year!

DRORANGELOVE writes:

in response to nola_vol:

Agreed. Matt deserves some fan-love and appreciation. He hung in there like a man when the O-line was not yet capable of decent QB protection.

When we were at our worst as an offense, Simms was there—not causing it, but pushing the unit through it.

He definitely deserves banquet recognition and free Krystals from Bray through the rest of the semester!

I agree with your post. Matt Simms IS a good QB who had the misfortune of having to play against 5 teams who at one time or another were ranked in the top 10 teams in the country. Furthermore, he had to play against those teams behind an inexperienced front line who gave him almost NO pass protection. I don't care how good of a QB you are, its hard to complete passes when you are being knocked on your arse all the time. I'm not knocking or taking anything away from Bray, as a matter of fact I'm glad we have him and think he is going to be one of the best in UT history, Just saying, all things considered, we should appreciate the job Simms has done under less than desirable circumstances and hope he realizes that the Big Orange Nation DOES recognize and appreciates the job he has done. GBO

paden312 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Meline is a DB, right. Someone said not to forget him.

He's currently listed as a DB...but he was recruited as a WR. The only reason he was moved to the other side of the ball was to provide depth. However, seeing how he didn't see playing time this year, I'd see no reason for him staying on defense. So my prediction of his emergence as a WR is simply speculation.

As far as Milton converting to TE, I dunno about that either. While his frame certainly would allow him to gain weight necessary for the position, TN has several TEs coming in this years class that already have the weight thing going for them, which puts him behind them as well. He's played some this year solely at WR but never got his hands on one. Who knows what he'll do.

boroviathaochvolsfan writes:

Great job receivers!! I hope they both can make it in the NFL....they truly gave there all to UT this year and we thank you for that!! Lets go win a bowl game now and close this season out properly!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can remember the days when our recievers couldn't separate from linebackers. Thankfully those days are gone.

For the next 2 years Hunter will draw the same attention as A.J. and Julio have for the past 2.

murrayvol writes:

in response to CroKev:

So did Matt Simms fall off the face of the earth? Man, it's gotta be tough for him. He faced all the tough competition in October and Bray got the easy ones in November. Don't get me wrong; I'd rather see Bray in there but you have to hurt a little bit for Simms. I hope he sticks around but we also have some top QB talent coming in.

I'll always remember that Simms did enough to beat LSU on the road.....but fell victim to a mathematically challenged coaching staff.

I hope he sticks around.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The defense is a work in progress and it all starts with a solid DT rotation. We won't have that until mid to late 2011 at best. And that's probably optimistic.

Freshman DTs usually do much better in the WAC than the SEC.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

The defense is a work in progress and it all starts with a solid DT rotation. We won't have that until mid to late 2011 at best. And that's probably optimistic.

Freshman DTs usually do much better in the WAC than the SEC.

Afraid you're right Murray.

Now if Montori would start to live up to his potential...

Bellem13 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Word is he was going to be ineligable anyway for grades I believe. Sucks for someone to have all that and end up with nothing. I hope he does well though.

Hunter, Rogers, Dallas and Arnett (sp) may end up being the best WR's in the SEC.

Anyone else see T Smith jumped from #76 RB to #26 on Rivals? Thats a huge jump. I want to see another great RB commit, but maybe Smith wont be so bad.

GO VOLS!

I was at the Outback Bowl. Rogan played a great game. I got some very good pictures and made a fantastic poster of the game and Dennis. As for Dennis, what a shame, what a waste. Takes a lot of work on and off the field. I wish him the best in life.

orangehuskr writes:

Fun watching these receivers this year! Future looks bright. Let's get these young ones running 3 of my favorite routes:
DaRick on the wheel route
Rivera running wide open down the seam.
Hunter/Milton going up for fades and TD's!
Go Orange!

1bigutfan writes:

in response to gnm53108:

Afraid you're right Murray.

Now if Montori would start to live up to his potential...

Have to agree with both posts. Hopefully Couch and Arthur Jeffery can make an impact.

On a side note Scout is reporting that Lamar Dawson (4*) MLB from KY will offically visit UT last week before NSD. The kid apparently had 32 tackles in one game, hard to imagine but he would be a huge addition to the 2011 class.

Anybody know whats the deal with Askew? He was a beast in Highschool.

MusicCityVol writes:

Regular Season Report Card

http://www.checkerboardchatter.blogsp...

mountainbrook writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How many Vandy (I quit U) coaches will quit in the next few days?

1bigutfan writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We also get Walls back from injury and I am hoping for big things from him as before his injury coaches were saying good things.

taylorsvolfan writes:

I still do not understand why Hakeem Flowers in Greenville SC is not on UT's radar. Kiffin was all over the guy last year and this year I have not heard of anyone from UT coming around. The kid is good and is leaning toward Oregon and will take official vist there in a couple of weeks. He has also been to Michigan. He was picked this week to the Team USA football game. Any thoughts out there ?

givehim6 writes:

in response to paden312:

Let's not forget about Ted Meline and Matt Milton. Milton hasn't been able to see any prominent playing time this season and Meline, if I'm not mistaking, red shirted. Both are huge and will get better with time. I don't see Meline staying on the defensive side of the ball. WR looks like a strong position in the near future.

I was thinking there was a 3ED freshman that came in with Hunter, and Da'Rick. But it was four Meline and Miton. Hope 2011 will see those two on fire also.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

Any thoughts to moving Rogers to Tight End?? He would go from a slightly above average receiver prospect to a SUPER tight end...and those guys make huge bucks in the NFL.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your beloved Bobby Johnson quit because he realized after several seasons that Vandy is a DEAD END JOB with absolutely zero support from the administration, fanbase and alumni. He knew it wasn't going to get any better. When a team goes to a bowl game two seasons ago and the pencil-pushers on West End aren't motivated to improve upon the appearance, you have a serious problem. He got out with his dignity.
Malzahn would be a fool to leave Auburn for that black hole.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

Your beloved Bobby Johnson quit because he realized after several seasons that Vandy is a DEAD END JOB with absolutely zero support from the administration, fanbase and alumni. He knew it wasn't going to get any better. When a team goes to a bowl game two seasons ago and the pencil-pushers on West End aren't motivated to improve upon the appearance, you have a serious problem. He got out with his dignity.
Malzahn would be a fool to leave Auburn for that black hole.

Vandy should have gone to the Big 10 ages ago...but too late now, probably. Vandy was the ideal fit fo that conference.

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