Derrick Brodus springs from couch, answers call for a kicker

Tennessee place kicker Derrick Brodus (26) kicks a field goal to take the score to 24-0 just before halftime during the game against MTSU at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee place kicker Derrick Brodus (26) kicks a field goal to take the score to 24-0 just before halftime during the game against MTSU at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Game recap: Tennessee 24, MTSU 0

It was an hour before kickoff Saturday night at Neyland Stadium and Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was out of kickers. Literally.

Naturally, he called Fraternity Row.

"(Michael) Palardy was hurt," Dooley said after the Vols' 24-0 victory against Middle Tennessee State. "He hurt himself Thursday in practice but we thought he'd be fine. He couldn't go. Then (Chip) Rhome goes out there in pregame and he pulls a muscle."

Good thing for Dooley and the Vols, Derrick Brodus wasn't busy.

"We didn't have a kicker," Dooley said. "And we had to make a call to the frat house. This is no lie. We called the frat house and had a policeman go get him."

Another plus for the Vols: Brodus was sober.

"Let's get a call to Brodus," Dooley recalled telling his staff, "and it's a good thing he wasn't having too much Saturday afternoon (fun). I told the coaches, 'Hey, an intoxicated Brodus is better than nobody.

"Just get him here and we'll do a Breathalyzer. Fortunately, he didn't have anything bad."

Brodus said he got the call around 6:10 p.m., just 50 minutes before kickoff.

"I was just laying on the couch watching football," Brodus said. "Honestly, I didn't know what was going on.

"I thought it was a dream. I was just laying down on the couch relaxing. I answered the phone and they just told me to come to the stadium as soon as possible."

Brodus managed to suit up in time to make good on all three of his point-after attempts. His 21-yard field goal as time expired on the first half helped build Tennessee's halftime lead over Middle Tennessee State to 24-0.

"He suits up and nails three PATs and a field goal," Dooley said, "so he gets the game ball. I was proud of him."

Brodus, a Maryville native, was part of two state-championship football teams at Alcoa High School. He also was an All-State soccer player for the Tornadoes.

"I'm not quite 21 yet," Brodus said, when asked about Dooley's Breathalyzer comments.

"It's a great story," Dooley said. "I'm going to write a book one day about the things that have happened to me in the last two years.

"I've never had that one."

The Search Continues: Tennessee has been looking for a running back all season. That search reached redshirt freshman Jaron Toney on Saturday night.

"I wanted to see Jaron Toney," Dooley said. "We are searching the running game."

Toney, an Alcoa teammate of Brodus' and the 2009 PrepXtra Player of the Year, got his first action in an orange jersey, leading all Tennessee running backs with 19 carries for 52 yards.

"Jaron has really run well in practice for a long time," Dooley said. "He is a walk-on so you just always dismiss him. But we are not lighting it up running the ball and I wanted to see Jaron.

"I should have played him last week."

Toney said he didn't expect the heavy workload, but he loved the chance.

"I'm thankful to get (the carries)," Toney said. "I was just trying to find a crease here and there. I had to get my way through them. It was just a great opportunity.

"It felt good that they had the confidence in me."

Toney was the 2009 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year at Alcoa. He was a Class AA Mr. Football Finalist in 2009, when he scored a TSSAA-record 50 touchdowns and rushed for 2,358 yards in his senior season.

Legends on of the Game: Former center Jeff Smith and former running back Richard Pickens were honored as Tennessee's Legend of the Game.

Smith started all 48 games in his career at UT (1992-95), snapping to a pair of Heisman Trophy runner-up quarterbacks in Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning.

Pickens lettered in 1966-68 had 1,644 rushing yards in his career.

Bray Injury Update: Vols quarterback Tyler Bray said after the game the cast on his fractured thumb would come off Monday. The injury to the thumb also will be reevaluated Monday.

Grant Ramey is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 98

FWBVol writes:

This is one of the great stories in a year when the breaks literally haven't gone our way. I guess Brodus didn't have time to get nervous like he might have had he known about it Thursday or Friday night.

mattnchatt writes:

My brother and I couldn't figure it out at the game tonight. We were both like who is this Brodus guy? Great story.

bUTchVFL writes:

Maybe we should sign more of these Alcoa players.

ACWLY writes:

Being prepared is the sign of a great coach!
I wonder if Dooley ever thought about a kicker getting hurt, probably never crossed his mind. HIRE CHAVIS!

Digital5000 writes:

This has to be one of the greatest stories I've read in a while.

Good for him

-Enjoy Yoself

chadvolfan#205844 writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Being prepared is the sign of a great coach!
I wonder if Dooley ever thought about a kicker getting hurt, probably never crossed his mind. HIRE CHAVIS!

Please try reading the article! BOTH kickers were injured within 2 days of the game! One during pregame. I am guessing you are SO knowledgeable that you are certain every OTHER team has 10 kickers on the roster! A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

dalvol writes:

in response to chadvolfan#205844:

Please try reading the article! BOTH kickers were injured within 2 days of the game! One during pregame. I am guessing you are SO knowledgeable that you are certain every OTHER team has 10 kickers on the roster! A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Yes, it's a terrible thing to lose one's mind!!!

FWBVol writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Being prepared is the sign of a great coach!
I wonder if Dooley ever thought about a kicker getting hurt, probably never crossed his mind. HIRE CHAVIS!

I think this shows Dooley was prepared. A team only dresses so many players for a game. The story clearly said Palardy was hurt in practice but they thought he would be OK for the game, but he couldn't go. And then Chip Rhome the backup kicker went down with a pulled muscle in warmups.

How many kickers do you want Dooley to have on the sidelines? I think he showed some quick thinking to know how to reach a walkon and get him to the stadium in time for the game.

As for as hiring Chavis goes, he is a great Volunteer and turned out some great defenses for us. I also remember fans crying about the so-called "Third and Chavis plays."

There is no doubt that John Chavis is one of the great defensive coordinators in the college game today, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he would be a great head coach. Even when he was at UT people questioned how much he really enjoys recruiting.

Some of the problems we are having on defense can be linked to the Wilcox needing a certain kind of player for his defense, Monte another kind and still Chavis a third kind of player. That's not to say that one kind of player is better than the other, but that doesn't always make for a smooth transition.

JimmyJoe writes:

Did Bobby Denton know this..... I swear he called him Palardy all night?

Southland writes:

guess bama wishes they had a kicker hanging out on frat row somewhere they could have called ha ha ha ha UT wins against a nobody but at least UT won and bama lost

orangeuavol4ever writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

Maybe we should sign more of these Alcoa players.

Agreed! Then maybe we won't miss out on the next Randall Cobb!

orangeuavol4ever writes:

in response to chadvolfan#205844:

Please try reading the article! BOTH kickers were injured within 2 days of the game! One during pregame. I am guessing you are SO knowledgeable that you are certain every OTHER team has 10 kickers on the roster! A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

LOL!

therev writes:

another walk on that should be getting some playing time is Chase Ketron

pdhuff#552644 writes:

On to Arkie.

Who knows what could happen!

GBO

pupvol writes:

maybe there's some o-linemen sitting on their couch on campus too!,we need to at least look!

TrueVol70 writes:

What a great homecoming story! 50 minutes before the game you are in your fraternity house lying on the couch watching a football game. 4 hours later you are back in the house with the game ball! Sounds like one of those old Jimmy Stewart movies. Good job!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to pupvol:

maybe there's some o-linemen sitting on their couch on campus too!,we need to at least look!

I saw two in the Cracker Barrel yesterday that could get it done

AlpharettaVol writes:

It will be interesting to see if Brodus is still around next week. I thought his PATs and his field goal got up in the air quickly and the spin looked real good. And -- here's the best part -- they all split the uprights.

VOL_FROM_A_FAR writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Being prepared is the sign of a great coach!
I wonder if Dooley ever thought about a kicker getting hurt, probably never crossed his mind. HIRE CHAVIS!

Apparently you don't know football...only 2 place kickers are on SEC rosters..before you comment..know your stuff. This is Doolittle's best coaching decision this year. With that said, I agree with the Chavis hire..some said he was done after UT..guess they were wrong

jjsteel writes:

in response to chadvolfan#205844:

Please try reading the article! BOTH kickers were injured within 2 days of the game! One during pregame. I am guessing you are SO knowledgeable that you are certain every OTHER team has 10 kickers on the roster! A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

A mind is a terrible thing!

CrankE writes:

If only we could do the same for the coaching staff.

And maybe Bob Kesling too.

NeylandWest writes:

Brodus! You're the new Rudy in my book! That was some solid kicking! Especially for a guy fresh off the couch. If any other rival fraternity ever steals that game ball, I'll help you hunt them down.

Titan writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I think this shows Dooley was prepared. A team only dresses so many players for a game. The story clearly said Palardy was hurt in practice but they thought he would be OK for the game, but he couldn't go. And then Chip Rhome the backup kicker went down with a pulled muscle in warmups.

How many kickers do you want Dooley to have on the sidelines? I think he showed some quick thinking to know how to reach a walkon and get him to the stadium in time for the game.

As for as hiring Chavis goes, he is a great Volunteer and turned out some great defenses for us. I also remember fans crying about the so-called "Third and Chavis plays."

There is no doubt that John Chavis is one of the great defensive coordinators in the college game today, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he would be a great head coach. Even when he was at UT people questioned how much he really enjoys recruiting.

Some of the problems we are having on defense can be linked to the Wilcox needing a certain kind of player for his defense, Monte another kind and still Chavis a third kind of player. That's not to say that one kind of player is better than the other, but that doesn't always make for a smooth transition.

People remember the Chief the same way they remember old girlfriends in high school. The longer the relationship has been over, the more fondly the old girlfriend is remembered. Her warts disappear with time.

UTKin1992 writes:

ACWLY,

Didn't you know better than to post anything remotely objective without realizing that you'd be reprimanded by the football geniuses on GVX? Sheep - posing as UT fans - band together and helpfully correct your lack of football knowledge without even being asked!

In the future be aware of this and take your criticism where intelligent Vols can actually talk...where that is, I have no idea.

Boys, continue your circle jerk about the MTSU game...

NYvolFan writes:

Been watching Derrick play soccer since he was a young pup...great, talented kid! Way to pull through Derrick!

VOLliven2it writes:

Brodus did the job. Great work man. I would like to have seen him have a couple other fg attempts but that's my coaching decision and I was not making the call in Knoxville. I really really wish we would have made a better effort in the second half to get the ball in the end zone. For a team that has been not doing that, MT was the game to be doing it. But we did Win and I will take that any time.

JayTee writes:

Looks like the inability to evaluate talent when you have it.

Why have players walk on when you make statements like this?

Quote "he is a walk on so you always just dismiss him".

I wonder how many others he has missed out on?

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Sort of like the Tim Mazzetti story...

sandymwp writes:

if i've read this, i've forgotten....is brodus a member of the team? if he wasn't, is he now? seems like he has earned it.

CharlotteVol writes:

in response to pupvol:

maybe there's some o-linemen sitting on their couch on campus too!,we need to at least look!

HaHa! Good one pupvol! Wish we could see some improvement on the O-line.

Go Vols!

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

Toney went ahead and proved to me that Dooley can't recognize talent and probably has a lot of the wrong players on the field or out of position. That has been the fall of a many HS coaches. I can't believe that's what we have.

CrankE writes:

Just asking here, but he's all ...you know, "eligible" and academically qualified and all? Given Dooley's luck with the officiating, would anybody be surprised if the NCAA came back later and "investigated".

So UT is now The Replacements?

Pipe_Down_Otis writes:

Take Palardy's scholarship and give it to this kid....at least this one doesn't seem arrogant.

utjunkie writes:

Great story, this guy is going to have one to tell his grandchildren one day.

jbc writes:

What is Richard Pickens doing these days?

nomietn#281095 writes:

This article is very telling about the state of our program and its leadership. What kind of coach states to the media his private concerns that a player might be intoxicated? This man is willing to sacrifice his players high moment and reputation just to try to make himself look good, and, in his mind, a good interview. Just like his Mother he will say anything, do anything, and sacrifice others for his own benefit. He must go. His brand of comedy is dangerous, and in the long run will make the Vols more of a laughing stock.

Realist writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

I saw two in the Cracker Barrel yesterday that could get it done

Only two? Go to the Golden Corral and you find at least two dozen!

givehim6 writes:

Pays to have good walk ons, shows how thin UT is. This Toney guy ran better than Pool, another red shirt CDD hed to burn.

FWBVol writes:

in response to nomietn#281095:

This article is very telling about the state of our program and its leadership. What kind of coach states to the media his private concerns that a player might be intoxicated? This man is willing to sacrifice his players high moment and reputation just to try to make himself look good, and, in his mind, a good interview. Just like his Mother he will say anything, do anything, and sacrifice others for his own benefit. He must go. His brand of comedy is dangerous, and in the long run will make the Vols more of a laughing stock.

I took that comment as part of Derek Dooley's humor, and he also was being somewhat realistic about what a college kid, living in a frat house, might be doing on a Saturday when he has no idea he will be the starting kicker for a Southeastern Conference team later in the evening.

Maybe the humor didn't go over that well, and it probably was a poor choice of words considering how many kids are harmed each year from drinking. But Dooley has done a lot to clean up UT's image. If Kiffin were still here we would be the laughing stock...and probably on probation.

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to Southland:

guess bama wishes they had a kicker hanging out on frat row somewhere they could have called ha ha ha ha UT wins against a nobody but at least UT won and bama lost

haha aha haha ah ah hahahahaha atleast we scored a touchdown on lsu we put 7 on lsu and 6 on bama heck looking back we played the game of a century for a half 6-6 if we just had a 2009 recruiting class and the people that are hurt back what could have been

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to nomietn#281095:

This article is very telling about the state of our program and its leadership. What kind of coach states to the media his private concerns that a player might be intoxicated? This man is willing to sacrifice his players high moment and reputation just to try to make himself look good, and, in his mind, a good interview. Just like his Mother he will say anything, do anything, and sacrifice others for his own benefit. He must go. His brand of comedy is dangerous, and in the long run will make the Vols more of a laughing stock.

Wow! the coach cant even make a joke.talk about America of the offended.

hatethevols writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

Maybe we should sign more of these Alcoa players.

You did, Brandon Warren and what did that do for you. You did Billy Williams again what did that do for you. Billy a pretty good wide receiver at UT but Brandon Warren oh well. I hate to say this but it is true our local talent seems to go and do better when they LEAVE Tennessee. Brandon Warren was a MUCH better player at Florida State than Tennessee.

willblitz4bacon writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

I saw two in the Cracker Barrel yesterday that could get it done

lol..totally agree, maybe try the agriculture department,stock yards,bass pro,cotton eyed joes,local truck stops,&dirt tracks..:-)

huntined#565710 writes:

Just have to face the fact WE DON'T HAVE A GOOD TEAM PERIOD. Every team we play knows what we will run even if they only have last years film it is the same as this year. Our O line just can't block anyone on running plays and they are no longer freshman but play as if they are and that is coaching or just the fact they are not a SEC O lineman..

gillblog writes:

CDD would really have been in trouble if Brodus had been at ........

The library !

RoadTrip writes:

Thankful for Brodus - great job!!! Another LOCAL kid comes to the rescue. Special teams problem - local kids fix it. Lack a decent running back - local kid handles it. Keep looking coaches, you may find some more. Hint, hint.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

Why would Dooley think one of his players, even one that doesn't get to dress out be drunk? This may explain a lot.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Realist:

Only two? Go to the Golden Corral and you find at least two dozen!

Fulmer's buddies no doubt?

Bubba_Knows writes:

Is the Water Boy avialable to play on the OL?

Bubba_Knows writes:

Brodus should have held out for money or an SUV. Dooley was desperate. Wait, I was thinking of Cheater Pearl.

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