Willie Bohannon on bulking up
Eating habits have changed.
Picking up laundry is different.
If James Stone is walking somewhere these days, he might even take a basketball with him to give his right hand a little extra work.
Formerly an unorthodox left-handed snapper with an old-school grip on the football, Tennessee is using spring practice to change both of those things and remake Stone into a traditional righty in time for the fall. And the sophomore is using the rest of his time away from the field to help smooth the transition as well.
"I feel like I'm coming along quite nicely with it," Stone said after the first workout in pads on Thursday. "I'm just trying to use my right hand more doing just everyday things, everyday activities, then just getting a lot of extra snaps with Tyler Bray and Matt Simms and all the quarterbacks, before and after practice, whenever we get free time.
"It's just a lot of stuff like that to get more acclimated with it."
Stone had little time to adjust to playing the position in the first place last fall, sliding down from guard as it became increasingly obvious he had all the tools to be a productive center.
But in the middle of the season a year ago, UT was more concerned about Stone simply being able to complete a snap than how he did it - allowing him to stick with his left-handed, pop-up style and forcing the quarterbacks to make a much simpler adjustment with the way they received the ball.
With a couple months to spare though, the major change is now the delivery. And considering that every play will start with Stone's hand on the ball and no other position would ever entertain the thought of switching away from a dominant hand or foot, his development this spring is perhaps the most important of any player on the UT roster.
"Unless you told the quarterback to throw left-handed or a kicker to switch-hit, it's a major deal," Vols coach Derek Dooley said. "I've never had to do it, nobody on our staff has ever been around having to do it. That's what we've got. That's what we're doing. He's got a lot of time between now and September to get it right.
"Every day is a good day for him at work. He's getting better, but the more (variables) there are (the better). There's hitting involved now, fatigue is involved. It's easy to practice those snaps in shorts, not a lot going on, but the more things happening in the trenches the more it can disrupt the snap. But he's doing better."
The third practice of spring certainly provided an early barometer of that as UT put on pads and started hitting, adding to the responsibility for Stone up front.
The contact and blocking have always come naturally though, and he was clearly excited to do that again with the rest of the offensive line on Thursday. Along with that came an early test for his snapping, and apparently some proof for the Vols that Stone's bid for ambidexterity is paying off.
"He's put in a lot of work," guard Zach Fulton said. "He's come in here early or is always staying afterwards. He's my roommate, so I'll wake up and he'll be gone - probably over to the complex getting extra work in and meeting with (offensive line) coach (Harry) Hiestand.
"He's putting a lot of work in."
And to speed up the process, Stone is doing a lot of it without even touching a football.