Five things to watch as UT football opens fall camp:
1. Carry Over, Carry On: The coaching staff crammed a lot of new scheming into spring practice, especially on defense. After a lapse of more than three months, how much carry-over will the Vols retain? It makes a big difference if camp starts on Page 101 instead of going back to Page 1.
2. Bray's Blip: The offseason narrative of Tyler Bray's newfound focus and maturity took a hit last week with the beer-bottle incident. As far as we know, he wasn't just getting in a little extra work throwing the deep ball. Any team profits when the quarterback can be counted on as a leader. Bray needs to make sure there are no more blips.
3. Big Guys, Big Challenge: For a change, there is no shortage of big bodies on the defensive line. The Vols check in with four 300-pounders and six more at 280-plus. But most are largely unproven and the question remains which ones can get the job done and stuff an SEC running game? Daniel McCullers and Darrington Sentimore head a posse of reinforcements.
4. Tailback Competition: Spring practice was geared toward improving the SEC's worst rushing attack. But the distribution of carries is still wide open. There are seven scholarship tailbacks, including holdovers Rajion Neal, Marlin Lane, Devrin Young and Tom Smith. Newcomers Davante Borque, Quenshaun Watson and Alden Hill merit a good look.
5. Closing Ranks: Since spring ended, starting cornerback Izauea Lanier and promising tight end Cameron Clear have dropped off the depth chart. Justin Coleman, Marsalis Teague and Eric Gordon have all started a game at corner and newcomers Deion Bonner and Daniel Gray have a less-cluttered path into the rotation. Sophomore Brendan Downs sees his role expand in Clear's absence. Newcomer Justin Meredith hopes to get acclimated quickly.