James is getting up to speed

UT freshman tackle quick study as starter

Tennessee can use statistical evidence to back up an impressive start for Ja’Wuan James and point to just one penalty in three starts.

The Vols could focus on things that can’t be quantified, like the steady demeanor and presence in the huddle that’s not exactly common in true freshmen.

But heading into his fourth start with James at right tackle in front of him on Saturday against UAB (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.), UT quarterback Matt Simms prefers a far simpler method to measure the early impact James is making.

“I’ve been very impressed, because from what I see, his guy isn’t hitting me very much,” Simms said. “That’s kind of how I judge it.

“But, hey, you’ve got to look at our offensive production. I don’t think he’s let up any sacks at all really, and we’ve been running the ball effectively to his side. For a young kid like that to go out there and play as well as he has, it’s impressive. I’m just happy that he’s got so much more talent and many more years to get experience and get better.”

That’s certainly the most encouraging part of playing so many young guys on the offensive line for UT (1-2, 0-1 SEC), which could feature two or three other freshmen along with James up front against the Blazers (1-2, 0-1 C-USA).

But after enrolling early and going through spring practice, winning a starting job in fall camp and then hiding his lack of experience well through three games by only drawing one holding call, James has emerged as arguably the player with the biggest upside in last year’s signing class. And though he admitted during his first media session with UT that he initially had some concerns about the speed of the game, hanging tough against consecutive top-10 opponents over the last couple weeks has erased them now.

“That first game against UT Martin, everything was moving fast,” James said. “I don’t know if that was just because it was my first game or what, but everything was moving fast and I got kind of hyper. As the weeks go on at practice and we keep watching the film, watching these guys and game planning against them and actually getting on the field, it’s slowing down during the game.

“It was a big surprise. I go into every game thinking, all right the best guy on the field is going to be coming at me every play and I have to bring my ‘A’ game every play. Once I get out there and it’s less than what I expected, it motivates me to keep working harder and harder.”

Given his enormous 6-foot-7, 313-pound frame, there’s no telling what that work might produce for the Vols.

Clearly James has the perfect size for his position, and he’s also blessed with quick feet and came ready-made to pass protect after doing so much of it in a spread system at North Gwinnett (Ga.) High School. But perhaps the asset that’s helped him transition so well and so quickly for the Vols is a mindset that never seems to have him rattled or overly excited — at least since the opener.

“If he’s doing it, he’s hiding it well,” Vols coach Derek Dooley said. “That steady approach is what I love, because that’s how I am. It’s every day go to work and just perform. If you don’t do well, you correct it and go do well tomorrow. If you do well, see why you did well and go do it again tomorrow.

“He has that demeanor, has that approach to work, it’s like he’s never fazed. I hope he maintains that, because I think that’s what allowed him to get in there and blossom.”

The Vols didn’t waste any time getting him in there. By any measure, they haven’t seen any reason he’ll be leaving the lineup for a while either.

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Comments » 63

Hounddog writes:

Ja'Wuan, thank you for being a VOL. Let's play football. Hounddog.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And what you wrote has what to do with this article? I am excited about our young guys. Go Jawaun!

Bigger_Al writes:

Do we not have a better picture of this guy? Really. Does John Adams' paper have to put up a grainy High School photo? Or do they just choose to do that?

ChattaVol1 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am happy you are not donating also, as if you could loser. I am happy for our young Vols and wish them well against UAB!!

BamaVol writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go back to your site and leave this one for the Vol fans, by the way, you must be a DA. "dumb A--"

tennezz writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sounds like you are an expert on STUPID!!!

movol77 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You should keep your comments where your money is.

movol77 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

With four "I" references in your post, you're obviously accustomed to talking in the mirror.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am all vol and I am NOT getting upset over something I have no control over. We are not the only program to go thru this and we will not be the last. What is upsetting to a few of the vol faithful are complete idiots like you, who come on here talking phooey like what ever program u follow (man up son) is innocent. Not speaking for others, but for myself, this is MY university, in my home state, one that I will continue to support until the day I die. If they are 13-0 or 0-13, death penalty (SMU..sorry), at the end of the day my blood is orange and u..small fry can kiss my big orange azz.
JJ and the others..Thanks for giving your all for Tennessee.
UT class of 98'

SECProudUT writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh that is to bad girl friend, the part about you not donating to UT's Athletic Department. What happened, did your trick stiff you again. Now move along, you don't belong on this corner ;)

usnavyvol writes:

It's painful to take phooey from other fans. We don't need to take the same stuff from our own. As a fan base the best we can do is support the teams and coaches as they represent our university. Pride runs deep.
Go Big Orange..Aloha
USN retired....

Alwaysavol writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't know about "all those empty seats" either. Over 99,000 for a game like UT-Martin and over 102,000 for the other two games. Yes, there might be a few, as there would be at pretty much any place with a huge stadium and an unranked non-conference opponent coming to town. But there won't be many...Vol fans will be there in force to support our team.

Tester423 writes:

Jamestown17,
I think u r truly showin ur own intelligence by going to a UT VOLS website & talkin trash on an article that has absolutely nothing to do with wut u r saying. Thank you for helpin me realize that there really r people out there that lack the mental capacity that us normal human beings have. Strap up ur helmet tighter buddy, everythings gunna be ok!!!
That being said...I love UT and I love whenever a freshman can step into the spotlight and perform as remarkably as J James has. GBO

coalvol writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

I am all vol and I am NOT getting upset over something I have no control over. We are not the only program to go thru this and we will not be the last. What is upsetting to a few of the vol faithful are complete idiots like you, who come on here talking phooey like what ever program u follow (man up son) is innocent. Not speaking for others, but for myself, this is MY university, in my home state, one that I will continue to support until the day I die. If they are 13-0 or 0-13, death penalty (SMU..sorry), at the end of the day my blood is orange and u..small fry can kiss my big orange azz.
JJ and the others..Thanks for giving your all for Tennessee.
UT class of 98'

Awesome post and I agree totally! I love this state and this school and will support them both no matter what! Go Vols and Go Navy!!

jbocap writes:

Ja’Wuan is a great player and glad to have him on the O-line! Keep up the good work!

GO VOLS!!!!

iowavol writes:

Great story. Great work ethic for a young guy. And a good lesson for us to worry about things we can control and not to sweat the small stuff. Example: all this bantering with idiot17 legitimizes him - and it's the small stuff. We can't control the idiot so it would be best to ignore him.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess this comment suggest you don't consider yourself a Vol. I guess that means you consider yourself a loser that goes to other teams websites and post comments unrelated to the articles. Wow do you go to all the other teams websites or just UT's?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

And what you wrote has what to do with this article? I am excited about our young guys. Go Jawaun!

I welcome negative comments about the subject of the article but jamestown isnt even close to it. I have to agree with many that you should ignore this type poster instead of cluttering up the relative post by playing his game.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

As you heard, Coach Ray Bussard, legendary Vols Swimming coach, passed away. A true Vol legend. He set the standard. Much like Pat Head Summit is doing as we speak. These people are why we, as fans, should celebrate excellence and doing it the right way. We don't have to do it like Alabama or Florida. That is what should set us apart. We have the money. We have the facilities. We have the tradition. We have the orange. We have Rocky Top. We have us. That's enough. Always has been. Always will be. We are lucky indeed. Go Vols. Go Big Orange....Go Big....Or go home.....Thanks for coming out....

oldsmokey67 writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I give you credit.This is Candy's best shot ever.I'm glad we don't play you guys now.You won't be glad come november.Our young team will be miles ahead of where they are now.Book it.

allvols4life writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Does it really matter who Vegas favors to win a non-existent game? I didn't have the chance to watch the Florida game, but based on what I have read and heard, we are just a few plays away from defeating the #10 team in the country. And you want to think that Vandy is good enough to do that to Florida? You want to think that SMU would do the same to Florida? That's why they play the game. When Vandy beats someone that can actually line up and play football, come back and talk.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What are the odds of you finding a job, a mate, or a life? slim to none? Trolls in general are pathetic in nature, but a Candy-troll? Seriously pathetic. Tell me, stat-boy, how many SEC Championships do the mighty Dores have in their glorious history? Don't bother looking it up: zero. Tulane, Georgia Tech and even Kentucky have SEC championships. Vandy? zero

scvols writes:

A good 4 star from last years class.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vol friends,

Have we ever seen a topic that is not inundated with trolls like this so-called Vandygrad and Jamestown17?

However, I have finally figured it out. You see, inasmuch as the trolls like these two are obsessed with Tennessee, do you realize what this means?

It means Tennessee has power over them. The Vols are in their heads. Anytime someone dwells on something or someone to this extent, it means that the thing or the person they are griping about all the time.......
actually controls them.

So think about that all you trolls who get up each day and head to the computer to try and figure what else you can say to the Vol fans.

It proves Tennessee has power over you and controls you !

chattanoogahardcorevolfan writes:

in response to scvols:

A good 4 star from last years class.

should have beeen a 5 star i think he has out performed all the rookie o-lineman in the country. Seantrel Henderson nor chaz Green has really done anything this football season.

1974Vol writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vol friends,

Have we ever seen a topic that is not inundated with trolls like this so-called Vandygrad and Jamestown17?

However, I have finally figured it out. You see, inasmuch as the trolls like these two are obsessed with Tennessee, do you realize what this means?

It means Tennessee has power over them. The Vols are in their heads. Anytime someone dwells on something or someone to this extent, it means that the thing or the person they are griping about all the time.......
actually controls them.

So think about that all you trolls who get up each day and head to the computer to try and figure what else you can say to the Vol fans.

It proves Tennessee has power over you and controls you !

Yes Trolls the Vols control you don't they...Don't they! As Troy Polamalu would say.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Absolutely new territory for me as a VOL fan. Been a fan since 48 and cant recall sinking this far down. However what goes down will come back up. Being the underdog is a great motivator.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Absolutely new territory for me as a VOL fan. Been a fan since 48 and cant recall sinking this far down. However what goes down will come back up. Being the underdog is a great motivator.

Pay him no mind. Those numbers he cites are pure abstraction anyway. In a real game, the betting line fluctuates according to how the wagers fall, but the result nearly always comes down to which team PLAYS best, not which way people GAMBLE the most. Any prediction based on statistics merely states a probability; i.e., if two teams played ten times, the "better" team would be predicted to win most of them. The thing is, real games are played one at a time, and in a single game anything can happen. Statistics do not apply to individual cases.

HtownVol writes:

When Feb 4th passes I was very excited about JJ and Stone. I didnt know which one would be better. As of now its James, but I am seeing that Stone is getting more PT. And it looks like the kid from Il (?), (Fr OL) is going to get the start this sat.

If UT is going to go 4-8 this year we might as well get these young guys as much PT as possible. I would like to see Bray play more. I know what happened his 1st drive, but he needed to be out there in the 4th vs Oregon. I would also like to see DaRick out there more. He may have be having trouble with the plays.

I know that in 2 years UT will have no issues on the O-Line. I really see Kyberson (sp) and Posey being starters at some point. Both have all the size. If they are good enough to start we are going to have some major big guys on the Line.

So for the ones who are impatient there is a major light at the end of the tunnel. In two years UT will have none of the issues that they have now. Depth, experience, talent (Dooley lands a few more top 10-15 classes) and SEC QB ( Worley may be better than Bray, or Bray may be a very good QB with experience).

It is hard for us to see UT lose, but if the fans support the team and understand the situation we will be rewarded in the future.

GO VOLS

allvols4life writes:

in response to HtownVol:

When Feb 4th passes I was very excited about JJ and Stone. I didnt know which one would be better. As of now its James, but I am seeing that Stone is getting more PT. And it looks like the kid from Il (?), (Fr OL) is going to get the start this sat.

If UT is going to go 4-8 this year we might as well get these young guys as much PT as possible. I would like to see Bray play more. I know what happened his 1st drive, but he needed to be out there in the 4th vs Oregon. I would also like to see DaRick out there more. He may have be having trouble with the plays.

I know that in 2 years UT will have no issues on the O-Line. I really see Kyberson (sp) and Posey being starters at some point. Both have all the size. If they are good enough to start we are going to have some major big guys on the Line.

So for the ones who are impatient there is a major light at the end of the tunnel. In two years UT will have none of the issues that they have now. Depth, experience, talent (Dooley lands a few more top 10-15 classes) and SEC QB ( Worley may be better than Bray, or Bray may be a very good QB with experience).

It is hard for us to see UT lose, but if the fans support the team and understand the situation we will be rewarded in the future.

GO VOLS

I couldnt agree more. I love the optimism. I am one that wants to win now, but I understand that in all likelihood we may barely get bowl eligible this year. But, as you say, look out in a couple of years when these young guys are juniors and seniors. We should be competing at a high level then. It will be a fun ride and I, for one, look forward to seeing the development of these athletes and many others over the next few seasons.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to VandyGrad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vandy fans talking trash ranks right up there with Sarah Palin talking foreign policy – doesn’t make sense!

You want to rattle off stats, well here’s a couple of interesting ones for you:

Vandy’s win percentage in the SEC – 25%
Vandy’s overall win percentage – 48%

We only keep Vandy in the SEC to keep grade point averages and graduation rates high. You’re still riding high off a win from a HORRIBLE Ole Miss team who also lost to Arkansas St. Your precious Dore’s will end up like they always do… start off strong, finish weak, and become the irrelevant cellar dweller yet again.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Our coaching staff deserves some credit for getting the young OL guys ready. And, it appears that Pair and Fulton are ready, as well.

jjsteel writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

moron

YucaVol writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

It's painful to take phooey from other fans. We don't need to take the same stuff from our own. As a fan base the best we can do is support the teams and coaches as they represent our university. Pride runs deep.
Go Big Orange..Aloha
USN retired....

I agree 100%. I live in Cali and have to listen to Pac 10 fans constantly. I just smile and tell them that the return of UT is just around the corner. I also remind them that just because UT is dusting themselves off right now, that the SEC still rules!! Stay faithful

allvols4life writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One of the best post I have read in a long long time.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to navarrebeachvol:

What are the odds of you finding a job, a mate, or a life? slim to none? Trolls in general are pathetic in nature, but a Candy-troll? Seriously pathetic. Tell me, stat-boy, how many SEC Championships do the mighty Dores have in their glorious history? Don't bother looking it up: zero. Tulane, Georgia Tech and even Kentucky have SEC championships. Vandy? zero

LOL, true about the pathetic Vaaaaanderbilt commodeadores, tee-sippers!

But, DON"T FEED THE TROLLS like (vandyPUNKnotgrad)! Every time we VOLS hit 'reply to this post' on the TROLLS it's like feeding a skunk, they keep coming back and spraying stink.

Vaaanderbilt and KY couldn't even beat the worst UT team of 2008. They can't win against Tennessee, maybe once every quarter of a century, maybe, LOL!

GO VOLS, WE ARE THE ONLY UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE!

Brillovol writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

precisely.

tnsportsman writes:

Keep it up Ja'Wuan! You and this O Line will be very special and great real soon! With talent, size, speed and smarts, I will take youth and inexperience for a few games!

BEAT UAB and move on to at least 6 more wins to = 8 wins! We have to replace the OR loss with a win over LSU or SC, the rest besides AL will fall in place with gained experience and playing time!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to HtownVol:

When Feb 4th passes I was very excited about JJ and Stone. I didnt know which one would be better. As of now its James, but I am seeing that Stone is getting more PT. And it looks like the kid from Il (?), (Fr OL) is going to get the start this sat.

If UT is going to go 4-8 this year we might as well get these young guys as much PT as possible. I would like to see Bray play more. I know what happened his 1st drive, but he needed to be out there in the 4th vs Oregon. I would also like to see DaRick out there more. He may have be having trouble with the plays.

I know that in 2 years UT will have no issues on the O-Line. I really see Kyberson (sp) and Posey being starters at some point. Both have all the size. If they are good enough to start we are going to have some major big guys on the Line.

So for the ones who are impatient there is a major light at the end of the tunnel. In two years UT will have none of the issues that they have now. Depth, experience, talent (Dooley lands a few more top 10-15 classes) and SEC QB ( Worley may be better than Bray, or Bray may be a very good QB with experience).

It is hard for us to see UT lose, but if the fans support the team and understand the situation we will be rewarded in the future.

GO VOLS

I think James and Stone will be major contributors on the O-line for years to come. I watched James at the All-Star practices last year and he was very impressive. I'm excited about the potential of the O-line for the future and Hunter intrigues me too. He snatches the ball out of the air and he reminds me of a young Randy Moss. Once he gets stronger, look out. The future looks bright up on The Hill.

BeRealistic writes:

Glad to have you Mr. James, I believe you will make another great OL we've had in the past. BTW, you people that respond to these trolls also show your intel.

tnsportsman writes:

Off Subject, great read on the NCAA.
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commen...

FIRE THE NCAA! We are just starting!

BeRealistic writes:

in response to HtownVol:

When Feb 4th passes I was very excited about JJ and Stone. I didnt know which one would be better. As of now its James, but I am seeing that Stone is getting more PT. And it looks like the kid from Il (?), (Fr OL) is going to get the start this sat.

If UT is going to go 4-8 this year we might as well get these young guys as much PT as possible. I would like to see Bray play more. I know what happened his 1st drive, but he needed to be out there in the 4th vs Oregon. I would also like to see DaRick out there more. He may have be having trouble with the plays.

I know that in 2 years UT will have no issues on the O-Line. I really see Kyberson (sp) and Posey being starters at some point. Both have all the size. If they are good enough to start we are going to have some major big guys on the Line.

So for the ones who are impatient there is a major light at the end of the tunnel. In two years UT will have none of the issues that they have now. Depth, experience, talent (Dooley lands a few more top 10-15 classes) and SEC QB ( Worley may be better than Bray, or Bray may be a very good QB with experience).

It is hard for us to see UT lose, but if the fans support the team and understand the situation we will be rewarded in the future.

GO VOLS

Good post, I agree Bray should get more playing time for experience. If Simms goes down, I don't think Bray will be ready to jump in & take over. Simms doesn't have the best OL, but he has made some costly throws. This is a rebuilding year & We are playing freshman in other positions, why not QB. UAB will be an interesting game for Dooley & all VOL fans.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to YucaVol:

I agree 100%. I live in Cali and have to listen to Pac 10 fans constantly. I just smile and tell them that the return of UT is just around the corner. I also remind them that just because UT is dusting themselves off right now, that the SEC still rules!! Stay faithful

San Diego myself. yeah the PAC-10 homers are funny. Talk bout lots of hot air. My co-worker is a USC alum and is so pissed about the Kiffin hiring. Our trash his treasure I told him. We are flying back to K-vill for the Bumma game. Can't wait! Go BIG ORANGE!!!

jobrando#216494 writes:

I've been thinking for some time that Bray would start the UAB game. Matt is a tough competitor but the coaches should be taking advantage of the grace year to get Bray going. I just dont get it unless it's about recruiting another qb and they dont want Bray to appear to have a foot hold.

jobrando#216494 writes:

For KNS====I've seen a big drop off in posters during this bad year....Hope you can keep this site going..

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm also grateful to Fast Lane for Layla.

BeRealistic writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

For KNS====I've seen a big drop off in posters during this bad year....Hope you can keep this site going..

Too many posters calling KNS reporters & articles on the negative side. I don't blame KNS.

YucaVol writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

San Diego myself. yeah the PAC-10 homers are funny. Talk bout lots of hot air. My co-worker is a USC alum and is so pissed about the Kiffin hiring. Our trash his treasure I told him. We are flying back to K-vill for the Bumma game. Can't wait! Go BIG ORANGE!!!

In Yucaipa about 70 miles to your north east. I wont be making the Bama game but my son lives in Carolina so we plan to meet in Columbia for the spurrier showdown.
Hey, one thing I noticed about alot of Pac 10 fans is that they are not very loyal. Unless it is their alma mater they will just jump on whatever ship is floating at the time. I am already seeing fewer USC flags etc. Have fun at the Bumma game. ROCKYTOP forever!

hueypilot writes:

in response to YucaVol:

In Yucaipa about 70 miles to your north east. I wont be making the Bama game but my son lives in Carolina so we plan to meet in Columbia for the spurrier showdown.
Hey, one thing I noticed about alot of Pac 10 fans is that they are not very loyal. Unless it is their alma mater they will just jump on whatever ship is floating at the time. I am already seeing fewer USC flags etc. Have fun at the Bumma game. ROCKYTOP forever!

Kinda like how all Vandy "fans" are Alabama fans, too. I mean, would you live your life as a Vandy fan if you didn't have sometone else, heck anyone else, to root for?

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