Tyler Bray after Saturday's scrimmage
Prentiss Waggner, one of the leaner players on Tennessee's football roster, is officially listed at 185 pounds.
That, the junior defensive back joked after Saturday's scrimmage at Neyland Stadium, is all that's holding him back from lining up at linebacker or defensive end.
Mentally, Waggner said he has a handle on the entire Vol defense, and he's used it to his advantage while battling for a variety of positions in the secondary.
"I take pride in just learning football," Waggner said. "I just love football, the game of football. I love the schemes.
"I'm comfortable wherever they put me."
Cornerback, nickel, safety: Waggner has played them all through the first three weeks of camp.
While a player such as offensive lineman Alex Bullard was somewhat hampered by his versatility because he wasn't able to spend enough time at one particular position, Waggner has thrived during his double- and triple-duty.
Coach Derek Dooley said that Waggner has been UT's "most consistent" cornerback. That's where Waggner lined up during a first-team, 11-on-11 drill during an open portion of Saturday's scrimmage, but it won't be the only one.
He said he still receives repetitions at safety and has been working with Janzen Jackson, Brent Brewer and Marsalis Teague at the nickel.
"He's still got that ability to go to safety if something happens or just depending on who we play," Dooley said. "Prentiss has been playing the best, most consistent play out there."
With Waggner locked in at one of the starting cornerback positions, the competition between Teague and freshman Justin Coleman continues. Teague, because of his relative edge in experience, had been considered a front-runner to start, but Coleman has consistently impressed since his lock-down performance at the Orange and White Game.
"He's pretty ready," Waggner said. "The older guys are pushing him to get the little things done. He basically knows all the checks and the plays. He's just got to play consistent every snap. I think he'll get there with experience."
Though UT is deep enough at cornerback to move two to wide receiver before Friday's practice, bona fide experience is hard to find. Waggner is one of the few who can boast a full season's worth of on-the-job training.
Now it's just a matter of displaying all that he's learned from it on the field — wherever that is.
"I think I'm settled in at the defensive back position. I know the playbook in and out," Waggner said with a smile. "I'm still out there floating around. From corner to nickel to safety, I'm just out there having fun."
Take My Breath Away: Junior-college defensive tackle Maurice Couch has dealt with asthma throughout his entire career. It remains an on-going battle.
The beginning of camp was difficult for Couch, who was extremely limited because of his asthma through the first few practices. Now, though, Couch said it's mostly under control.
"It's a genetic thing," Couch said. "They always tell me to be careful with it, so I make sure that I take all my meds and stuff. Everything's OK."
Asked what triggered Couch's asthma attacks, Dooley deferred to head athletic trainer Jason McVeigh, but offered up a theory of his own.
"For some reason, it always happens during individual when we're hitting the sled, so it might be sled-induced asthma," he said. "Or when we do pursuit drill, for some reason, we haven't found a medicine that cures the asthma during that drill yet."
Walking Wounded: Running backs Rajion Neal and Tom Smith, linebacker Greg King and defensive tackle Malik Jackson all sat out Saturday's scrimmage because of their respective knee injuries.
Wide receivers Zach Rogers (triceps), Matt Milton (abdominal muscle) and Antonio Jones also did not participate.
Spread it Around: During UT's 16-play drive that ended with a touchdown Saturday, the Vols converted "four or five" third downs, Dooley said.
What made it even more rewarding was that a different receiver — Mychal Rivera, Justin Hunter, Vincent Dallas and Brendan Downs — made the catch on those chain-moving plays.
"It hasn't been 'Throw it to Gerald Jones,' " Dooley said, referring to the departed senior who was a top option out of the slot on third downs last season.
"I think it's better when you can throw it to anybody. It's profound, I know."