DeAnthony Arnett fitting into cast of receivers

Freshman learning the tricks of the trade

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (13) catches a pass in front of Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic, left, and cornerback Cody Riggs (31) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Tennessee wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett (13) catches a pass in front of Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic, left, and cornerback Cody Riggs (31) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

DeAnthony Arnett

DeAnthony Arnett

DeAnthony Arnett can already get out on the stage and do a little improv.

With a play breaking down and his quarterback looking for help in the back of the end zone, the Tennessee freshman proved that he can freelance as he worked his way into open space and gave Tyler Bray somewhere to throw the football.

But with or without a script, Arnett left out one important bit of acting the veterans and his coaches were quick to point out after the second touchdown of his career was sent to video review. Arnett didn't react like somebody who was certain he'd just made a catch, so if there's any doubt about a similar play as the Vols take on Georgia at Neyland Stadium on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.), it's safe to assume he'll be more willing to ham it up for the officials.

"Oh yeah, they definitely all told me about it," Arnett said Tuesday during his first interview since joining the program. "As soon as I came to the sideline, they were telling me I had to at least jump in the air and act like I caught the ball. (Wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett) said I just looked like, 'Dang, I dropped the ball.' He said to act like you caught the ball, even if you did drop it.

"I know it hit the ground a little bit, but I think I got under it enough that it was a touchdown."

The replays didn't show enough to contradict Arnett last weekend as the Vols (3-1, 0-1 SEC) routed Buffalo, giving him his second scoring grab of the game and likely solidifying his role as a viable target in UT's post-Justin Hunter offense.

The Vols had been gradually incorporating the former four-star recruit into the offense early in the season, a similar approach to what they did a year ago as they eased Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers into the mix as each became more comfortable with the game and more familiar with the playbook. But a season-ending knee injury for Hunter forced UT to fast-track Arnett into the rotation, and heading into a critical meeting with the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1 SEC), he's responded with 11 catches, 86 yards and those two touchdowns — all of that coming over the past two games.

And while he showed some veteran savvy on the first trip to the end zone of his career, taking an out route and making a sharp cut up the sideline and diving inside the pylon, the second offered a reminder that there are some tricks of the trade he's still learning.

"I told him that," Baggett said. "When he came off, I said, 'No matter what happens, when you get up, hold the ball up and act like you caught it.' I guess he'll learn that over time.

"I show it to him all the time on film. Sometimes those things happen, and you know, the ref doesn't always get a good view of it. He said he thought he caught it but there was a possibility that the tip hit the ground. He caught it — but he's got to act like it more."

Based on the final verdict, Arnett didn't need to sell anything to the officials to put points on the board. He's also not having to fake his way through his other responsibilities as a receiver, either.

When it comes to impressive speed, a shifty, elusive running style and a soft, steady pair of hands, there's no replacement for an authentic performance. And since a spot in the cast at receiver unexpectedly opened up, the Vols need it from Arnett sooner than anticipated.

"I just know I'm going to have to step up more," Arnett said. "I don't want to be treated like a freshman anymore, and I tell the coaches that all the time.

"They said they're not going to treat me like a freshman, and they expect me to step my level of play up."

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.

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Comments » 59

ThaiVolFan writes:

Arnett is my pick for UT's key for success this week. I think that he is going to put his stamp on this program beginning Saturday night. Yards after the catch, making people miss in the flat and being the perfect compliment for a struggling run game and relieving the pressure and double teams off of Rogers. Arnett's opportunity to rise up will be against Georgia this week and I think he gets it done and raises the bar and expectations for the rest of this season for Vol Nation post Hunter. Go Vols!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Arnett has had a great Fr. year and I think he is just getting started..He seems to have embraced the opportunity to contribute more to the offense..Since Da'Rick will probably be double-teamed, Arnett will be wide open more times than not..Good job,DeAnthony!!

Smokey says this guy is gonna have a great career at UT and will just get better..

jmzahnen writes:

When Hunter is back we will have 2 playmakers and a chain mover! Wide reciever U is making a comeback!

eb502us#225637 writes:

I thought freshman were off limits to the media. Am I missing something here?

Digital5000 writes:

Bray is going to have a field day through his career with all these WR's, and we have more coming. Need to land another solid RB with Cross.

We're getting close... we're getting close.

Need "W" this weekend.

-Enjoy Yoselves

pingkr62 writes:

This is further proof C.D.D. and staff can recruit. G.B.O.!!!!

Gmoney58 writes:

in response to VOL_GOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AMEN! Preach on!

BigVolinCarolina writes:

I don't care who catches the passes--we just need several players to step up and make big plays. Let's not lean on 1 or 2 guys--let's be a team and force Georgia to cover everyone.

Go Big Orange!

givehim6 writes:

Yes love how the cupboards filling up, after NCD 2012 say UT will have the people to make a good run at the SEC title. And to the trolls hanging in the shadows, I did'nt say win it I said make a run at it.

BleednUrnge81 writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

I thought freshman were off limits to the media. Am I missing something here?

i believe freshman are off limits for televised interviews. they usually always have print interviews with the freshman.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Passing is our best weapon, without any doubt, at this time.

I really want to see CDD and CJC putting serious pressure on the bullFrawg D with 3 and 4 WR sets to give Bray more options to find a open man for him to hit.

I honestly believe that we have enough good WR's and TE's that we can flood the field with them to open things up, keep moving the chains and force the D to back out of the box which will get our running game going much better.

As to Arnnett..I think he's another superstar in the making and watching this young man grow up and become great the next few years is going to be a truckload of fun.

VFL...GO BIG ORANGE!!!

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

DeAnthony Arnett, the name just sounds like someone that you will see on Sunday afternoons in the NFL someday. DeRick Rogers, sounds like another Sunday player. Double De's, lol. Lets deflate that Georgia DEfense with our offensive DE's.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

Before everone jumps on my spelling of DaRick, it just worked better with De's. lol

dvhill100 writes:

As always, it is going to come down to the lines. The offensive line got pretty well handled by UF, and now they face another good one with UGA. Hopefully there are a lot of quick outs, screens and draws to slow down the rush. Having said that, as a football coach I would make a great rocket surgeon. Coach Chaney will have the plan.

UTVOL2001 writes:

in response to VOL_GOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Deez Nuutzz, right on my friend!

voloffaith writes:

in response to IB4UT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yippee! Now go 4-0 in November or 3-1 with only loss at Arky...

volinlouisiana writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

I thought freshman were off limits to the media. Am I missing something here?

They are until the coaching staff makes them available (ie they feel they won't embarass themselves or the program). They made Curt Maggitt available for an interview a week or so ago as well.

theoldbear writes:

Yes, wide receiver U is UT once again!

And tight ends, too! Luke Stocker is having a break-out rookie year with Tampa Bay, not just catching the ball but blocking. He's in there on all the key short yardage plays.

Rivera may be the future top NFL draft pick at TE.

I'm excited about our passing game, and think we've got enough to beat the Bulldogs Saturday.

We'll be in Knoxville for the post-game celebration!

BigBadVol writes:

Maybe not this year but within the next two years we will be competing for championships again. Dooley and staff are doing things the right way. It takes time. VFL!

GerryOP writes:

Plenty of talent, just need to get some experience ... and that takes time.

If you take a hard look at what Coach Dooley has done, it's really amazing. A bunch of Sophs and Frosh, few significant Jrs and Srs, and they keep on reping UT with honor and class. Based on what this program has been through the past few years, who could ask for more?!?!

3-1 on the way to 12-1 baby... 12-1!

SouthPaVol writes:

Highly sought recruit who catches the ball effortlessly with hands like velvet. Seems like a clutch possession receiver with good hands. Was wondering why Arnett didn't make his appearance in the first two games after Zack's fumble and multiple drops?
The question this week is whether Bray has time in the pocket to let routes develop...I think O line steps up. Vols win by a TD in a high scoring affair, over 75 points combined.

trubleoj#657755 writes:

Big time SEC football games mean HUGE recruiting opportunities. This week and next (hope there are some stud D linemen behind the northside goalposts). Crowd excitement and aggressive play on the field mean a lot to a 17yr old (and this 41 yr old). Don't let them give it to you, go out and TAKE it.

rockytn2jc writes:

5WR slot next year- J.Hunter and D.Rogers on the outside(M.Milton, J.Croom, and D.Browles as back-up). D.Arnett and R.Neal slot recievers(Z.Rogers and V.Dallas as back-up). M.Lane-RB/WR(R.Neal as back-up)

We should be putting up big numbers next year with our offense!!!!

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to rockytn2jc:

5WR slot next year- J.Hunter and D.Rogers on the outside(M.Milton, J.Croom, and D.Browles as back-up). D.Arnett and R.Neal slot recievers(Z.Rogers and V.Dallas as back-up). M.Lane-RB/WR(R.Neal as back-up)

We should be putting up big numbers next year with our offense!!!!

C. Patterson may end up a Vol as well. Add him to your list and (I can't even fathom the possibilities).

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to Mobbdeep4life:

C. Patterson may end up a Vol as well. Add him to your list and (I can't even fathom the possibilities).

If we bring in Patterson, I say have him and Hunter on the outside. Can you imagine how sick it would be with Da'Rick in the slot?

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to theoldbear:

Yes, wide receiver U is UT once again!

And tight ends, too! Luke Stocker is having a break-out rookie year with Tampa Bay, not just catching the ball but blocking. He's in there on all the key short yardage plays.

Rivera may be the future top NFL draft pick at TE.

I'm excited about our passing game, and think we've got enough to beat the Bulldogs Saturday.

We'll be in Knoxville for the post-game celebration!

Wide receiver U? Really people? I would love for someone to generate a list of how many WR we put in the NFL compared to the nation, or the SEC for that matter. Probably wouldn't throw that description around when you are outside of your house. Other people might laugh at you.

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

Wide receiver U? Really people? I would love for someone to generate a list of how many WR we put in the NFL compared to the nation, or the SEC for that matter. Probably wouldn't throw that description around when you are outside of your house. Other people might laugh at you.

http://cfn.scout.com/2/861713.html

We've slipped in the past ten years, but this current class may put us back on top. Seems to me that maybe USC and Michigan fans may laugh, but any realistic person can look at what we have now compared to those two schools and agree that we're probably going to take the top spot back.

Of course, you're not a reasonable person. You're just a pr!ck with a computer.

VolGrad writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

I thought freshman were off limits to the media. Am I missing something here?

Well, Arnett said he didn't want to be treated as a freshman.

GBO!

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Upgrayedd:

http://cfn.scout.com/2/861713.html

We've slipped in the past ten years, but this current class may put us back on top. Seems to me that maybe USC and Michigan fans may laugh, but any realistic person can look at what we have now compared to those two schools and agree that we're probably going to take the top spot back.

Of course, you're not a reasonable person. You're just a pr!ck with a computer.

Don't get mad and start calling people names when your boyfriend gets called out for making a ridiculous comment. The other thing is that this article is over 2 years old. And you talk about slipped in the past 10 years. It has been non-existent. And yes the "talent" we have now has potential but they have to produce, and according to the article of how they judge WR these guys haven't produced yet. Hopefully they will. So to say I am not reasonable would make your comment ridiculous as well.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would like to see in an article, other then the outdated article that upgrayeed posted, that mentions UT as WR U. And further more in the past ten years we are known for Peyton Manning. Before that Willie Gault because he was a track guy who went to the NFL. Funny you don't mention how many WR we have put in the NFL in the last 20 yrs compared to other schools.

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

I would like to see in an article, other then the outdated article that upgrayeed posted, that mentions UT as WR U. And further more in the past ten years we are known for Peyton Manning. Before that Willie Gault because he was a track guy who went to the NFL. Funny you don't mention how many WR we have put in the NFL in the last 20 yrs compared to other schools.

All right then, loudmouth, why don't you show us a list that proves your point?

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

Don't get mad and start calling people names when your boyfriend gets called out for making a ridiculous comment. The other thing is that this article is over 2 years old. And you talk about slipped in the past 10 years. It has been non-existent. And yes the "talent" we have now has potential but they have to produce, and according to the article of how they judge WR these guys haven't produced yet. Hopefully they will. So to say I am not reasonable would make your comment ridiculous as well.

I made sure to look at your previous posts before I responded to you the first time. Every comment you made was disrespectful and half of them were ignorant. You're a bully with a keyboard, nothing more. That's why I called you what I did, and you were predictable. You responded with a homophobic slur. Way to go. You're not impressing anyone here. If anything, you've proved my point. Only an unreasonable person would as for a list of all NFL wideouts over the past 20 years. You must be cracked out of your mind. We earned the nickname around the time of Carl Pickens and Alvin Harper. It's been more than 20 years ago, genius. Before that there was Anthony Miller, Tim McGee, Willie Gault, etc. Most UT fans believe we're RETURNING to those days. You just had to shoot off your mouth to fulfill your need to be an unsufferable jerk. Does it make you feel big? Because, to be honest, nobody really gives a chit as to what your opinion is. So, do the world a favor: cancel your internet, sell your computer, and donate it to charity. It'll probably be the only worthwhile thing you've done in your miserable existance.

rockytn2jc writes:

in response to Mobbdeep4life:

C. Patterson may end up a Vol as well. Add him to your list and (I can't even fathom the possibilities).

Just watched film on C.Patterson.... I hope we get him!!! I'm not counting out this year, but next year looks scary for our opponents when it comes 2 talking about our passing game. Having a well season line, M.Lane in the weight room during off- season, and J. Chaney putting in more packages bc of seasoned talent. You would have 2 have a small football I.Q. to say the future 4 UT's offense doesn't look bright!!!!

OOOPS.... 4got 2mention T.Bray as the QB...lol!

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All your articles are written by biased opinion. Example:
Bio from Bleacher Report....Joel fell in love with college football, 23 years ago, at the age of five. He grew up a diehard Tennessee Vols fan. Of his Vols fandom, Joel says, “Whenever I hear Rocky Top or see the ‘T’ forming, even to this day, I get goose bumps.”

Don't sit here and say EVERBODY knows TN as WR U across the nation. It is just UT FANS! Which is the point I made earlier. All these articles are from people who grew up liking UT or live in Knoxville. Have some common sense.
Bring me an unbiased opinion and I will accept that I am wrong. You are mad because someone spoke truth about the VOLS, which I am a fan of, and you didn't like it because it didn't fit in your fantasy land of what you thought they were or are going to be. I know the truth stings alittle but you will get over it.

RUstilltalking writes:

BTW.......I am still talking!

RUstilltalking writes:

I know bellybuttonorange and upgrayedd are searching the internet frantically for an unbiased opinion, which they probably won't find, but if they do I will say I was wrong and give credit where credit is do. But I would go easy on the Kool-aid though fella's. Reality might be rough for you two.

rockytn2jc writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

I know bellybuttonorange and upgrayedd are searching the internet frantically for an unbiased opinion, which they probably won't find, but if they do I will say I was wrong and give credit where credit is do. But I would go easy on the Kool-aid though fella's. Reality might be rough for you two.

What team do you follow!?... Just curious.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you go to all the bio's of the people that wrote those articles they are all UT alum, long life fans, or live in knoxville. You have no proof of un-biased opinion. NONE!

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

I know bellybuttonorange and upgrayedd are searching the internet frantically for an unbiased opinion, which they probably won't find, but if they do I will say I was wrong and give credit where credit is do. But I would go easy on the Kool-aid though fella's. Reality might be rough for you two.

Actually, I was checking out all the Danny O'Brien stories. That, and waiting for your list like I asked for. Waiting for you to back up your smack.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Biased source. YOu got that from an old article that I am pretty sure came from Wiki, I could be wrong.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't you know that anyone can edit Wiki. Another sad attempt. Listen I cheer for the vols but I know what they are and what they are not. Its very simple. Sorry me and the rest of the nation doesn't agree with you. That is why people like you give Vol fans a bad name. You can't state facts with your opinion. Its borderline delusion.

Sgt_Joe_Friday (Inactive) writes:

Just the facts - We can't run the ball - Dooley must win this one or it doesn't look good for Dooley - 6-6 won't cut it this year - Must win or begin to look elsewhere for a HC - Just the facts Mam.

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

Don't you know that anyone can edit Wiki. Another sad attempt. Listen I cheer for the vols but I know what they are and what they are not. Its very simple. Sorry me and the rest of the nation doesn't agree with you. That is why people like you give Vol fans a bad name. You can't state facts with your opinion. Its borderline delusion.

All right dipwad, Naval and I both at least ATTEMPTED (in your opinion) to produce some facts and evidence. Where's yours, other than your opinion? Because that's all I'm hearing, what you and the "rest of the nation" THINK. So, again, I ask: Where are your facts and evidence?

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They are not calling UT WR U. It is a list of colleges of top wideouts at the time. There is nothing that says UT is WR U. It just has a Title which was given to about 25 universitys they were comparing. HAHAHA!!! another sad attempt.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Upgrayedd:

All right dipwad, Naval and I both at least ATTEMPTED (in your opinion) to produce some facts and evidence. Where's yours, other than your opinion? Because that's all I'm hearing, what you and the "rest of the nation" THINK. So, again, I ask: Where are your facts and evidence?

All I said was that outside Vol Fans, UT is not known as WR U. How am I supposed back that up. Get every article that doesn't mention UT as WR U?

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

All I said was that outside Vol Fans, UT is not known as WR U. How am I supposed back that up. Get every article that doesn't mention UT as WR U?

Funny, because I consider Penn State to be Linebacker U, and I'm not a Penn State fan. Kinda disproves your entire theory, doesn't it?

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If every commentator used the moniker then post a youtube clip. PROVE IT! And please don't post something from the Vol Network or any of the knoxville stations. And the comment about the Wiki. I am sure UT Media wrote the article. They do most of the UT players that have any type of notoriety. Common knowledge

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Upgrayedd:

Funny, because I consider Penn State to be Linebacker U, and I'm not a Penn State fan. Kinda disproves your entire theory, doesn't it?

What? Exactly you are not a penn state and still consider then Linebacker U. That is my point.

RUstilltalking writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You keep saying everybody but you have only posted articles written by people who are biased to UT. Just because you keep saying it over and over doesn't automatically make it true bellybutton.

Upgrayedd writes:

in response to RUstilltalking:

What? Exactly you are not a penn state and still consider then Linebacker U. That is my point.

Are you getting so frustrated that you can't put together a coherent sentence? You are not a Penn State?

You just made an argument that only UT fans consider UT Wide Receiver U. By that logic, only Penn State fans would call Penn State Linebacker U. I'm not a PSU fan, and I consider them Linebacker U. My friend who is a Miami fan calls UT Wide Receiver U. He is not a UT fan.

Your whole argument went up in smoke, and you're trying to say that was your point?! Are you kidding me?! You're dumber than I thought.

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