Daniel Hood says his focus is 'to attack it' on D-line

New defensive tackle thinks Vols well equipped

UT head coach Derek Dooley instructs Daniel Hood during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010.

UT head coach Derek Dooley instructs Daniel Hood during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010.

My mentality just the whole time is to attack it, and if you mess up, get it fixed and just keep hitting it every day, one after another.

Daniel Hood

Daniel Hood

Daniel Hood

Collectively the pressure may be going up on the Tennessee defensive line.

Considering there's one less person bearing the load after the dismissal of Montori Hughes last week, that simple fact should come as no surprise.

But individually, Daniel Hood isn't feeling any additional burden on his broad shoulders now that even more of the responsibility to deliver at defensive tackle has shifted his way. His role, his mind-set and his chance to make a major impact for the Vols in the trenches hadn't really changed since he left spring at the top of the depth chart, and one fewer backup didn't do anything to alter Hood's perspective this summer.

"My mentality just the whole time is to attack it, and if you mess up, get it fixed and just keep hitting it every day, one after another," Hood said during a break from running the power tools last Saturday at UT's Habitat for Humanity house. "I think it does (change things overall), just because Montori was incredibly talented. We needed him to be there for that role to help us because of what he was good at.

"Now that he's not there, you know, the other guys have to pick up the slack, the freshmen coming in have to work even harder so they can fill that role. So that puts more pressure on us, but I think we'll be equipped to deal with it."

The addition of highly touted transfer Maurice Couch is certainly at the top of the list of reasons the Vols aren't mourning the loss of the mercurial Hughes, a player who struggled to maximize his potential throughout his UT career before it ended last Thursday. But the move of Hood from the offensive line to defensive tackle figures to be just as valuable for the Vols, particularly after he won a job after just 15 spring workouts at his new position.

In some respects Hood is still adjusting to life on the other side of the ball, which takes a bit of creativity in the summer when nobody is wearing pads. But as his transition continues and Hood gets more familiar with the position, if nothing else he could help provide a solid three-man rotation with Malik Jackson and Couch with Corey Miller and Joseph Ayres not far behind.

"I mean, you can always work on your explosiveness on bags," Hood said. "You can work on hand placement, granted it's a 300-pound man coming at you instead of a little dummy, but we can get together and have a guy acting like he's an offensive lineman going one way and we can work on our steps.

"Of course, we all get together with the offensive line and defensive live and have a team-run kind of deal when we get a chance. So, we actually get a chance to go against an offensive lineman, granted there's no pads or anything so it's a little different, but you can still fine tune some of those little skills and work on the little stuff, opening up your hips in pass rush. The main thing is that explosive power."

Hood has plenty of that in his 6-foot-4, 293-pound frame, and his size combined with his long blond hair and scraggly beard made him a dead ringer for comic-book hero Thor over the weekend.

The Vols don't necessarily need him to be their savior now that Hughes is out of the picture. But it will be more important for Hood now to make sure that loss isn't noticed this fall.

"There's not any more incentive now than there was before," said Hood. "So my whole mind-set is just to keep getting better."

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

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 42

RoadTrip writes:

Daniel's got game - and opposing OL's are going to find that out in the fall. Could not ask for a better attitude.

sjackson#227599 writes:

Is he still eating 20 slices of bacon every morning?

Kelly8 writes:

Daniel Hood says his focus is 'to attack it'

I hope he's talking about football...

SEC1 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

1965Vol writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I jus' keep wondering when you dinks are goin' to open your eyes and realize you're standin' on the bare edge of nothin' ... and the only way you're goin' is down ... straight down. All ya' got is a head coach in waiting with a funny name and a guy who tarnished the Golden Dome. You're runnin' on empty.

OwensboroVol writes:

Sounds like a great kid. My high school coach once told us he would rather have 1 player that wanted to play and would work hard beyond belief to improve over 10 players who had great talent but lack that kind of heart. I think we are lucky to have Hood who appears to be complete in work effort and talent.

GerryOP writes:

Daniel Hood is one of the good things Kiffin did while he was here.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would think having Thor: God of Thunder would be a bonus

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Hate to say it, but Hood in place of Montorie will be an upgrade. Hood's gonna be good. Boy was an excellent athlete in high school. He was only about 260 when he came out of high school, he's athletic even at 290. He's gonna be the next local boy to shine.

VolGrad writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, you're sweating. If you'd kept your post to yourself, nobody would have known. No, but you had to submit it and remove all doubt.

GBO!

CroKev writes:

in response to tnoutlaw2001#228008:

I would think having Thor: God of Thunder would be a bonus

Will the NCAA let him line up with the hammer?

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

U guys r stupid and obviously havent been paying attention to UT football the past few years(not every1 on here posting just 75%). Every1 knew last year we was hurting on the d-line so thats old news,but I can tell you one thing the d-line this year will be 10 times better and even better next year. Dooley inherited a team that was massively low on the depth so you have to start somewhere.

CarlChilders writes:

He's got the size and I like his attitude.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Yeah, you're sweating. If you'd kept your post to yourself, nobody would have known. No, but you had to submit it and remove all doubt.

GBO!

Volgrad and all other Vols,

Consider the source with the kid, SEC 1.

This teeny bopper is in the world to which he refers.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Daniel has been talking to Johnny Majors. Atack Atack Atack

BrassMonkey writes:

My Grandpa said always go with your second choice. So since Hughes is gone, let's go with Hood, and we can base our blind optimism on a single article about him. Grandpa also said when it comes to coaching it is ok to go with your 6th choice and crown him king before he ever accomplishes anything notable. Go Vols!

easleychuck writes:

in response to Kelly8:

Daniel Hood says his focus is 'to attack it'

I hope he's talking about football...

-1

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to VOLFAN4LIFEgovols:

U guys r stupid and obviously havent been paying attention to UT football the past few years(not every1 on here posting just 75%). Every1 knew last year we was hurting on the d-line so thats old news,but I can tell you one thing the d-line this year will be 10 times better and even better next year. Dooley inherited a team that was massively low on the depth so you have to start somewhere.

"10 times better" puts us at Miss State or Kentucky-level of DL talent. If Ayres is in the rotation, then were still not an average SEC DL.

Reality.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Almost as sad as the typical unoriginal drivel you post here every day. Or perhaps it’s your denial that UT is on its way back up, while UF’s future is so uncertain. Is Muschamp the real deal, or is he Ron Zook part 2?!? Stay tuned!

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

I think CDD made a brilliant move by getting Thor to move over to the D line.

Hood will be all SEC by the time he leaves UT for the NFL after he graduates.

He has the foot speed to be a great O lineman as well as the heart, dedication, intelligence and work ethic to be very successful on the line on either side of the ball and the NFL loves guys that are versatile like Thor is.

Hood doesn't need any extra motivation because he already had that the 1st time he put on a big orange jersey.

He's a great young man that's going to make us all very proud as a Vol For Life.

VFL...GO BIG ORANGE!!!

Razzle writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sad and unfortunate would be a better commentary on the state of your football IQ.

537081 writes:

Give all you have for the Vols. Daniel it's your day in the Sun. It's time for you to "Be The Man"

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

Sounds like a great kid. My high school coach once told us he would rather have 1 player that wanted to play and would work hard beyond belief to improve over 10 players who had great talent but lack that kind of heart. I think we are lucky to have Hood who appears to be complete in work effort and talent.

Don't you know that was just motivational coach speak? 10 players with great talent will wear his a--/heart out. In other words you are saying this kid has no talent only a great attitude? That's not going to go very far in the SEC.

maciste54 writes:

Just a casual observation : The more uplifting the news [which has been severely limited lately ] the more trolls there are on the comments. Maybe the more trolls there are the better the Vols will be. That's my logic and I'm stickin' to it. :-)

GerryOP writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Little Willie? UF is relying on this guy? Sad and unfortunate commentary on the state of UF football.

SEC1 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Little Willie? UF is relying on this guy? Sad and unfortunate commentary on the state of UF football.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

tennrich1 writes:

I think Daniel has the drive and intelligence to succeed...and the size...He should be fine at DTackle....

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

"10 times better" puts us at Miss State or Kentucky-level of DL talent. If Ayres is in the rotation, then were still not an average SEC DL.

Reality.

I dont even think they'll be on Miss State's lvl but theyll be better than last year. That is if the offense can at least move the chains this year at least once or twice instead of going 3 and out every possesion.

kletusfleabiscuit writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hikerdude writes:

Our defense this year is not going to be very good. In the words of one sports commentator they're "too little, too slow and too few." Coach Wilcox is going to have his work cut out for him.

GerryOP writes:

in response to hikerdude:

Our defense this year is not going to be very good. In the words of one sports commentator they're "too little, too slow and too few." Coach Wilcox is going to have his work cut out for him.

I repeat my earlier post, Daniel Hood is one of the good things Kiffin did while he was here.

I predict that some teams are going to be very surprised, very shocked, and very beaten.

81 -- Fear the Vols...

GerryOP writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Champ? Geeze, the kid has yet to coach a game and you call him Champ? I thought the tornadoes missed The ATL, but it's pretty clear something thuncked up against the side of your head.

How long will it be before we're hearing:

I have a confession, by DCflorida » Mon Nov 15, 2010

I drove from Atlanta, like I always do, and I rarely leave early. I threatened to leave numerous times throughout the 3rd quarter, finally succumbing to the urge at the start of the 4th.

Unbearable offense, absolutely unbearable.

I expect we'll be hearing it far before Nov. 15 this year!

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to maciste54:

Just a casual observation : The more uplifting the news [which has been severely limited lately ] the more trolls there are on the comments. Maybe the more trolls there are the better the Vols will be. That's my logic and I'm stickin' to it. :-)

Good observation!

GerryOP writes:

in response to maciste54:

Just a casual observation : The more uplifting the news [which has been severely limited lately ] the more trolls there are on the comments. Maybe the more trolls there are the better the Vols will be. That's my logic and I'm stickin' to it. :-)

The trolls are afraid of our Vols ... very afraid.

Of course, when all they have to look forward to is the Little Willie and Big Chuck Show ... well ... the best thing they can think of to do is come on here and stir the pot.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

My Grandpa said always go with your second choice. So since Hughes is gone, let's go with Hood, and we can base our blind optimism on a single article about him. Grandpa also said when it comes to coaching it is ok to go with your 6th choice and crown him king before he ever accomplishes anything notable. Go Vols!

You just might have made a clever post, if it was accurate. But, alas, Hughes was the backup and Hood is the starter. Unfortunately, you didn't check before you trolled. Oh yeah, who were the 5 choices before Dooley? Only thing I saw was KNS saying who they thought/asked turned us down, sort of like our AD search.

Might want to channel grandpa and ask him what to do about a bad case of headinbuttitis. Seems to be going around amongst you trolls.

GerryOP writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes, you are correct... things are much better without Fulmer. Very astute observation...

GerryOP writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Excellent point Naval! But wait, maybe lil' DC and lil' ZZ have Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine and they are caught in a Mobius loop of continuously reliving those years! Wow!

Naaaw, I think they are having a real problem accepting reality. They continue to pump "How great it was" and "How great it's gonna be." They need to accept the fact that the next game the "Go Gatas" play will be the beginnng of the head coach in waiting and Notre Dame reject years. That may be too much for these lil' fellars to handle.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Zook lost a couple to the Vols though while he was coaching the Gators.

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Y r u even on a UT site ive seen ur posts and apparantly u like another team.
But u have to give Dooley a chance "He will turn it around" its only his 2nd year.

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to InDestruCtible:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well since you've been hearing it for 7 years now and you truly believe the vols r down and out then y r u on a vols site,that tells me you fear the vols.

VolGrad writes:

So which is the bigger switch: from DE to TE or OT/OG to DT?

Just remembering that Jason Witten came to Tennessee thinking he really wanted to play DE, I believe. He was switched to TE, and we all know that the rest of that story is still being written with the Dallas Cowboys.

Daniel Hood's personality and mindset seems to fit very well with the defensive unit mentality. Despite our lack of size at the DT position, it is still rather impressive for an OL switching to the DL to earn a starting spot so quickly.

I suspect if Mr. Hood stays healthy, he will excel this year at DT. I hope he surprises us all and becomes as successful as the aforementioned Witten in this new position.

Go Vols!!!

DannyVol writes:

Saw this headline and knew it was Ward...the only writer on staff interested in writing for the fans. Good article, thanks for doing your part, Austin.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features