Vols' John Propst has good reason to laugh

John Propst on his future with the Vols

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  • What: Tennessee vs. North Carolina at the Music City Bowl
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: LP Field
  • Cost: Not available
  • Age limit: All ages
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Nobody is spared from Derek Dooley’s good-natured jokes, not even a guy who just won an award and is being honored in front of the team.

Ask John Propst.

Even the Tennessee linebacker admitted being surprised when he was named to the Freshman All-SEC squad by the league coaches after the season, which was pretty much the only opening his coach needed to rib Propst about the honor.

Never one to miss a good opportunity for a laugh, Dooley took full advantage before Tennessee got to work last week on North Carolina for the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 30 (TV: ESPN, 6:30 p.m.).

“I told Propst, first I congratulated him on his award, and then I told him I did some research and he was the only freshman (middle) linebacker that played on any team this year,” Dooley said. “So he won by default.

“Then I smiled. He was crushed when I told him, and then I told him I was just kidding, congratulations. That got him thinking though.”

Propst does plenty of that already, and his inherited football knowledge from a family of coaches and a knack for absorbing playbooks certainly helped him get on the field early for the Vols (6-6, 3-5 SEC) and grab some attention around the conference.

He only finished the season with 14 total tackles, but in some extended playing time in a blowout loss at Georgia he tallied six of them — including one for a loss — to provide a glimpse of his potential.

And if nothing else, it also set him apart from a bunch of other freshmen linebackers who never had the same chance.

“(The award) did surprise me a little bit,” Propst said. “I saw it and was like, ‘How did I get that? I didn’t play that much.’

“(Dooley) just told me, ‘You didn’t think you’d get this when you came here.’ I was like, ‘No, I had no idea.’ It’s an honor, definitely, to get that. It was something I didn’t think I would get, but to be named in the same breath as those great SEC athletes is a great accomplishment.”

The Vols will be counting on him to build on it now, particularly with the linebacking corps headed for a makeover with the loss of senior starters Nick Reveiz and LaMarcus Thompson, and reserve Savion Frazier after the bowl game.

UT will still have Herman Lathers at one spot on the outside, but it will need some or all of the combination of Austin Johnson, Daryl Vereen, Raiques Crump, Propst and a healthy Greg King to step into larger roles next year.

Replacing Reveiz figures to be the most daunting challenge, but in terms of studying film and soaking up schemes, Propst at least appears to be cut from the same cloth.

“My dad and my uncle are both high school coaches and I grew up with them just always trying to be a student of the game, always trying to learn everything I can,” Propst said. “I think that’s a huge aspect, knowing what’s going to go on before the play and that just puts you a step ahead of everybody else.

“That’s a huge thing you’ve got to work on, and it’s one thing I pride myself on doing is trying to watch film and learn the defense and where everyone else is so I know where I need to be.”

John Propst - Signed Feb. 3, 2010

John Propst - Signed Feb. 3, 2010

Obviously, that’s no laughing matter on a game day, and it perhaps is the most critical part of Propst’s position.

But for the rest of the week his passion for learning just provides one more way for the Vols to crack a few jokes at his expense.

“In the meetings and stuff, he’s not the biggest talker, but we joke around with him a lot because he’s the smart guy and knows everything,” Johnson said. “Propst definitely is the smart guy in the bunch. He knows what he’s doing, and he picked up the defense immediately when he started learning it. He’s going to be a great player for us.

“He’s obviously really young, only a freshman, so the sky is the limit for him.”

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 » 19

nfdeng13 writes:

Just got my tickets to the Music City Bowl!! Club level. See you guys there!! GBO

volfan537240 writes:

he will be needed. i sure hope hes ready.

malcolmvolfan writes:

Good job John thanks for being a Vol.

windy writes:

Propst is from Ala. Wonder why Saban did not want this kid. I have said all along he is goint to be the next al Wilson. This kid can bring it. Just wondering about Ala. passing on him.

UTByrd writes:

How about the fact that he attained "Eagle Scout" status? Say no more.
Go VOLS!!!!!

HtownVol writes:

What ever happened to J ASKEW??? Please someone tell me..

No mention of Mitchel-Thorton either, there was another one..a So this year. I remember his HS stats were crazy with like 170+ tackles his Sr year. He played last year but I cant even remember his name now. Where do these kids go?

JP sure dont look like a LB. Maybe a long snapper. JK

GO VOLS!

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

in response to HtownVol:

What ever happened to J ASKEW??? Please someone tell me..

No mention of Mitchel-Thorton either, there was another one..a So this year. I remember his HS stats were crazy with like 170+ tackles his Sr year. He played last year but I cant even remember his name now. Where do these kids go?

JP sure dont look like a LB. Maybe a long snapper. JK

GO VOLS!

I would like to know about J. Askew as well. Is this guy still on the team?

volsoutwest writes:

I wonder, "Where's Naffy?

gnm53108 writes:

Good job John.

He cleaned up rather well since his rivals pict.

Juzkruzin writes:

Propst Committed early to UT abd was offered SS from Bama, FL, Au and several others, but he held to his comminment to the BO. He said his comminent was firm and the others backed ofed. Sure enough, here he is at the BO. I really wish more commientents were like this and keep changing their minds. The NCAA should pass a law where someone commentiments to a school, verbal or not they should have to honor it. Over look the spelling, just pulled an eighteen hour shify.

gnm53108 writes:

I'm sorry but I cant get over the before and after pict's.Pict 1 alabama high school.Pict 2 (a few months later after escaping al) at Tennessee.

Hard to argue against the mullet jokes huh?

Munsterlander writes:

in response to Juzkruzin:

Propst Committed early to UT abd was offered SS from Bama, FL, Au and several others, but he held to his comminment to the BO. He said his comminent was firm and the others backed ofed. Sure enough, here he is at the BO. I really wish more commientents were like this and keep changing their minds. The NCAA should pass a law where someone commentiments to a school, verbal or not they should have to honor it. Over look the spelling, just pulled an eighteen hour shify.

Best post I've seen in a while... :)

vol88 writes:

Congrats! GBO!

DingoVol writes:

Is his Dad the Propst from 2 a days? That coach left Hoover and is coaching in Moultrie, GA now. Just curious.

Bigger_Al writes:

I thought Probst was a late commitment.

There will never be another Al Wilson.

VolzsFan writes:

Tennessee's record vs the SEC by decade.

First, looking at the members you can use this link as the timeline.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeas...

This link will get you all the info if you have any computer skills that do not include hacking porn sites
http://football.stassen.com/records/c...

1960-1969
Tennessee was 7th in the SEC at 54.5%

1970-1979
Tennessee was 5th in the SEC at 50.8%

1980-1989
Tennessee was 4th at 61.3% (thank goodness for 1987-1989 as they where the only 10+ win seasons)

1990-1999
Tennessee was 2nd in the SEC at 80.0%

2000-2009
Tennessee was 5th in the SEC at 61.4%

The two best decades by winning % in the modern segregated era where
1990-1999 at 80.0% and 2000-2009 at 61.4%. Why was that? Hummmmmm I wonder.

They are back to where they used to be. Starting out the 2010-2019 decade they are tied for 8th.

Yea baby, lets make a change

Colliervol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Probably just another of their bandwagon sidewalk alumni. You never hear from them when they are doing badly and then come out of the woodwork when they start doing something. Typical Bammers.

FarmerVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Tennessee's record vs the SEC by decade.

First, looking at the members you can use this link as the timeline.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeas...

This link will get you all the info if you have any computer skills that do not include hacking porn sites
http://football.stassen.com/records/c...

1960-1969
Tennessee was 7th in the SEC at 54.5%

1970-1979
Tennessee was 5th in the SEC at 50.8%

1980-1989
Tennessee was 4th at 61.3% (thank goodness for 1987-1989 as they where the only 10+ win seasons)

1990-1999
Tennessee was 2nd in the SEC at 80.0%

2000-2009
Tennessee was 5th in the SEC at 61.4%

The two best decades by winning % in the modern segregated era where
1990-1999 at 80.0% and 2000-2009 at 61.4%. Why was that? Hummmmmm I wonder.

They are back to where they used to be. Starting out the 2010-2019 decade they are tied for 8th.

Yea baby, lets make a change

Thanks for the facts. Winning just over half our games in 4 out of 5 decades is what most call medio-lousy not a "storied" or "top 15 - 20" program, except Vandy of course. We need to stop being like the farmer I know who says his pet pig is the prettiest pig in the world, even though he has never been out of Knox county. The reason we have a medio-mentality is because we hang on to coaches who bring us 50-60% winning decades and we accept it and all the @BS@ reasons given for it, when it is in fact unacceptable in anything else like real life. Do your job, or do your school work 50-60% of the time and see how long you keep it or stay in. Ok off the soap box now. Merry Christmas and please sit in on the game if you aren't going live and pull for Derek to win this one. 2011 is the start of a new decade. A good finish is a great start (mentally) for the next one.

TKO writes:

in response to DingoVol:

Is his Dad the Propst from 2 a days? That coach left Hoover and is coaching in Moultrie, GA now. Just curious.

correct.

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