Healthy Devrin Young could give Vols options

Tennessee tailback Devrin Young looks on while his teammates practice at Haslam Field Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.  Young fractured his right collarbone earlier in the week and will have to sit out of practice for undetermined amount of time while he recovers.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee tailback Devrin Young looks on while his teammates practice at Haslam Field Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. Young fractured his right collarbone earlier in the week and will have to sit out of practice for undetermined amount of time while he recovers. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Dooley, Jacques Smith analyze Florida

Devrin Young was welcomed back to contact in big-time fashion.

The way the freshman handled the physical play as a scout-team running back seems to have gotten Derek Dooley thinking about a much more prominent role.

Despite missing all of training camp with a broken collarbone that also has forced the Bearden High School product and possible special-teams weapon to sit out the first two games for Tennessee, Dooley is at least entertaining the notion of giving Young his first live work in one of the most hostile environments in the country at No. 16 Florida on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.).

"I don't know, but he's doing good, he got hit today, which is good," Dooley said after practice on Tuesday morning. "I think A.J. (Johnson) body-slammed him. We put him on scout-team running back, so he can go in there and get some licks. He catches the ball well. I told him I would probably be called the dumbest coach in college football if I put him back there in the Swamp.

"But I'm thinking about it, yeah. It isn't the first dumb thing I've done, so I'm not scared. I don't have to catch it."

The Vols (2-0) don't seem to have any concerns about Young's ability to do that, particularly since part of the appeal during his recruitment was the boost he could provide to a return unit that struggled mightily a year ago just to field the ball.

Young has been able to work on that aspect of his game over the last couple weeks as he recovered from the injury suffered just before training camp opened last month, but the opportunity to prove he could withstand some physical punishment had largely been on hold.

Without Young available early in the season, the Vols have turned to another true freshman to handle the work in the punting game with some mixed results. Marlin Lane has picked up 23 yards on five official attempts, though he had one chance to build his average up nullified by a penalty last weekend in the win over Cincinnati.

But Lane also has a muffed punt to his credit, so if Young is able to prove he's ready to take shots from some defenders that aren't teammates, Dooley might have a difficult decision to make against the Gators (2-0).

"Not one thing (can ease my mind)," Dooley said. "I know he can catch punts, I know he's quick and elusive, he's been hit, nothing will ease my mind until he goes out and catches one.

"I don't know what I'm going to do."

Moving On: The first touchdown allowed had obvious room for improvement for Daryl Vereen.

The UT linebacker was intimately involved in the next score for Cincinnati as well, though there might not have been much he could have done differently.

After missing a tackle on a 65-yard scamper by Bearcats running back Isaiah Pead, Vereen also was in the area for the next touchdown UT allowed on a pass to the back of the end zone. And while his coverage was sound on the second score, both plays tested his resolve and ability to bounce back over the final three quarters.

"Yeah, it's short-term memory, really," Vereen said. "You can't be down the rest of the game, because then you'll stay down. I just tried to forget it as soon as it happened and just kept moving on."

Turn It Up: The Vols have cranked the volume on the practice field.

But no matter how loud Dooley turns up the speakers at Haslam Field, he's not expecting it to measure up to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

"You can't simulate the Swamp," Dooley said. "I mean, I think Cincinnati played 'Rocky Top' all week, and crowd noise, but you can't simulate it. And, really, all the crowd noise does is it helps you have to verbally communicate things when you can't hear and it keeps you focused in on what you need to be focused on.

"That's why I say you've got to get scars on you. You've got to go down there and do it, and then it doesn't affect you as much."

Bumps And Bruises: Safety Prentiss Waggner was in a red, non-contact jersey after falling on his shoulder during practice on Sunday, but he's expected to be ready to go against the Gators.

Left tackle Dallas Thomas was limited some with his knee sprain, but he's also still anticipating playing this weekend.

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 » 38

veinsoforange writes:

Title - "Devrin You"??? Come on KNS.

kazoo writes:

Devrin You(ng) is a small, true freshman who has, what, two practices to his college career and hasn't played a down. I hope he proves an asset, but I doubt that he gives UT too many options at this point.

volspaws writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

if you want to fit in, break out the jorts

pingkr62 writes:

I have high hopes for Devrin. Maybe he can be our version of Derrick Locke. He will be difficult for defenses to locate behind our O-Line. Maybe by then, it will be to late to catch him. G.B.O.!!!

LJS1984 writes:

Devrin You(ng) better take one or two for TD's.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SpongeBob,

Thanks for sharing that. Gosh, I'm tired just watching him run up and down the field.
Poor refs were so far behind, they had to signal T D 40/50 yards away!

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Would love to see him take one back in the sewer and drain it.
This cat has the moves and is fast.

nothinglastsforever writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Holy smokes!

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

Want to watch the Vol faithful implode...Put a marginal Dooley "local kid" in against Fla.'s five star defense and it'll be 10 in a row after this kid's done.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get this kid on the field with the ball in space! What's his 40 time?

smokeybitesback writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dang that guy is super fast and elusive..if he can run like that in the SEC then we are going to blow away opponents..Bray's arm, the tandem of Hunter and Rogers and then have Poole with Devrin in the back field or hell anywhere on the field just get him the ball and no one can stop us
GO VOLS...for life

UTbassdrummer writes:

DY runs like somebody is playing a video game with the cheat codes on. Get this kid in there.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to FrenchQuarterVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How...prey tell would you know such as that?...I'd very much like to know.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

How...prey tell would you know such as that?...I'd very much like to know.

Why troll????????

Because people who played the game have some integrity and class about themselves.

Pretty obvious you need to step away from your keyboard, take your meds, and then grow up kid.

It's a well known fact those who played the game do not come across as immature kids who are bonafide pretenders. Apparently you are trying to convince yourself. What you need to do is find the site that kicked you off......( Florida's ) and ask forgiveness.

In the meantime.........try to dream up another screen name.........Mr. Troll

Incredible how Tennessee owns you trolls
How do you exist knowing they are in your feeble head 24/7?

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Why troll????????

Because people who played the game have some integrity and class about themselves.

Pretty obvious you need to step away from your keyboard, take your meds, and then grow up kid.

It's a well known fact those who played the game do not come across as immature kids who are bonafide pretenders. Apparently you are trying to convince yourself. What you need to do is find the site that kicked you off......( Florida's ) and ask forgiveness.

In the meantime.........try to dream up another screen name.........Mr. Troll

Incredible how Tennessee owns you trolls
How do you exist knowing they are in your feeble head 24/7?

I think you've been listening to too much of that Dooley "Character" nonsense to know the difference...Just retired like Phillip...so I guess I'll be around for awhile...Especially as the wheels start to come off of yer boy's lemon.

volaholic45 writes:

I wonder how many football players actually think "short term memory" is the ability to forget the recent past rather than remember it?

dvhill100 writes:

If he is ready to go, put him in on punts. That is the major reason DD brought him to UT. I'd love to see the punt team do something spectacular for a change. He appears to be the player who can deliver that.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It would be a shame to have a weapon like that and not use it!!!

springtx_vol writes:

in response to kazoo:

Devrin You(ng) is a small, true freshman who has, what, two practices to his college career and hasn't played a down. I hope he proves an asset, but I doubt that he gives UT too many options at this point.

I remember a story about Florida putting a true freshman back to return punts for the first time against Tennessee. That worked out pretty well for the Gators for the next 4 years. Not saying that Devrin will do the same, but he could turn into the next Brandon James. We could only hope!

VolzsFan writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He is running against the turtles of East Tennessee football so he looks faster to the untrained eye. He is a tint, lightly regarded prospect with virtually no offers. He has yet to have a contact practice so there is nothing to welcome him back to. He needs to redshirt. Many of you had Mo Couch as the next Farly. You poor people.

Weatherman writes:

I remember when Georgia, a few years back, put in a true freshman...Hershal Walker never looked back. Hopefully, Mr. Young, and the Vols, can have similar success. GBO!

TKG_VOL writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

Get this kid on the field with the ball in space! What's his 40 time?

Rivals showed him last year as a 4.5 in the 40. Sure looks faster than that. His moves is what impressed me.

posivol writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

I think you've been listening to too much of that Dooley "Character" nonsense to know the difference...Just retired like Phillip...so I guess I'll be around for awhile...Especially as the wheels start to come off of yer boy's lemon.

pudge packer orange,crawl back under you rock.

nonsense is all you bring to the board.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Want to watch the Vol faithful implode...Put a marginal Dooley "local kid" in against Fla.'s five star defense and it'll be 10 in a row after this kid's done.

FudgePacker. Another KNS cubicle troll?

BeRealistic writes:

I think DD knows football a helluva lot better than you knuckleheads. GBO

barefoot43 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

He is running against the turtles of East Tennessee football so he looks faster to the untrained eye. He is a tint, lightly regarded prospect with virtually no offers. He has yet to have a contact practice so there is nothing to welcome him back to. He needs to redshirt. Many of you had Mo Couch as the next Farly. You poor people.

If you had experience playing rather than smacking your lips (or pecking your fingers) you would know that there is a difference between "clocked" speed and "football" speed. This kid has "football" speed. His change of direction, start/stop and purpose of direction are what makes him promising. Your "untrained eye" should not allow your "untrained mouth" to overload your "untrained rear end". Sitting, watching, writing, complaining does not make one an expert. You are no expert.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to TommyJack:

FudgePacker. Another KNS cubicle troll?

Good to see you TJ. Someone posted the other day that they hadn't seen your words of wisdom in awhile.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

To all heading to the game this weekend.... wear a plain orange shirt and jorts.... and when we win, walk out a little dejected until you get to your car and can get away from those heathens. If you blend in like that, they might not throw batteries at you.

Chappy writes:

in response to Packer_Park_Orange:

Want to watch the Vol faithful implode...Put a marginal Dooley "local kid" in against Fla.'s five star defense and it'll be 10 in a row after this kid's done.

It's one thing to spew your venom at us Vol fans, but there's no reason to disparage a freshman whom you've never even see play.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

also helps if you have the kind of teeth that corn on the cob has nightmares about.

SmokeDog1972 writes:

"FLVOL79 writes:
Want to simulate the swamp? Go to the Florida State Fair. Albeit it will be more classy and less stanky but its the closest you can come to simulating their campus and stadium which makes carnies look professional.

Dont forget to point and laugh at the male/female gator statues..they are truly tacky and hilarious...."

No offense to Vols that live in Florida, but the whole state is pretty wretched outside of some of the beaches. Flat as h-ll, pastel stucco, fat, furry-backed Yankees in muscle shirts and Daisy Don'ts shopping in dumpy seashell trinket stores giving away orange juice, crappy and smelly water, and scrubby landscapes. No wonder Spain owned it so long: nobody else wanted it!

UTVOL2001 writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I cant watch that video enough. When I saw it after he signed, I knew he was special. My only concern is can he stay healthy, being small and already suffering from injury. If he can, he will do serious damage. He has everything it takes to be great with the ball in his hands! I don't care about his rating or how many offers he had. His ability is rare!

NOthgif writes:

Or here's another few options for you guys...

1. Bray passes to the left.
2. Bray passes to the right.
3. Bray passes over the middle.

Oh, I almost forgot.

4. Bray passes downfield.

How do you like those options?
Fight ON!

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He's definitely a quick,speedy kid. Not being critical but, i do hope CDD has taught him to carry the ball high and tight. If not, he's a fumble waiting to happen.

STstatefarmVOLS writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

He is running against the turtles of East Tennessee football so he looks faster to the untrained eye. He is a tint, lightly regarded prospect with virtually no offers. He has yet to have a contact practice so there is nothing to welcome him back to. He needs to redshirt. Many of you had Mo Couch as the next Farly. You poor people.

Turtles of East Tennessee?? I would love to welcome you out to Alcoa/Maryville any day to watch these "turtles" who have won 7 state championships in a roll at Alcoa and 5 out of the last 7 in Maryville. I guess the rest of the players on these teams are snails.....

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to barefoot43:

If you had experience playing rather than smacking your lips (or pecking your fingers) you would know that there is a difference between "clocked" speed and "football" speed. This kid has "football" speed. His change of direction, start/stop and purpose of direction are what makes him promising. Your "untrained eye" should not allow your "untrained mouth" to overload your "untrained rear end". Sitting, watching, writing, complaining does not make one an expert. You are no expert.

Agreed!!

Smokeys says way to put that troll in his place..

GreeneVol writes:

"..He catches the ball well. I told him I would probably be called the dumbest coach in college football if I put him back there in the Swamp.

"But I'm thinking about it, yeah. It isn't the first dumb thing I've done, so I'm not scared. I don't have to catch it."

"Not one thing (can ease my mind)," Dooley said. "I know he can catch punts, I know he's quick and elusive, he's been hit, nothing will ease my mind until he goes out and catches one.

"I don't know what I'm going to do."

Interesting, the psychology...some challenging going on...Young ought to be amped.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to barefoot43:

If you had experience playing rather than smacking your lips (or pecking your fingers) you would know that there is a difference between "clocked" speed and "football" speed. This kid has "football" speed. His change of direction, start/stop and purpose of direction are what makes him promising. Your "untrained eye" should not allow your "untrained mouth" to overload your "untrained rear end". Sitting, watching, writing, complaining does not make one an expert. You are no expert.

Very well said! I somewhat agree with the skeptics that we haven't yet seen him do it against top-level talent. Still, a small man can cut quicker than a bigger one. I also noticed that he doesn't dance around much; he sees a crease and explodes through it; he makes all his cuts and changes of direction at full speed. Also, one poster said he seems to carry the ball too low and called him a "fumble waiting to happen". I don't know how many fumbles he had in HS, but on the tape, I saw him brought down a few times by multiple defenders, which is when fumbles usually happen, but I didn't see any. I think CDD stuns the world by putting Young in, and Young stuns the Gators by taking one or two to the house. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! As an ex-Bulldog myself, all I can do is say, "GO, DEVRIN!" GBO!!! TCB!!!

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