Don't call him Dante. The Tennessee freshman defensive lineman from Venice, Fla., now goes by Omari Phillips, and Dooley made that clear Saturday.
"He goes by Omari, for the record," said Dooley when asked a question about "Dante" Phillips. "That's O-M-A-R-I. He was Dante. I'll get the story behind that (change) if you guys are interested."
Phillips, listed at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, originally signed with Florida but was denied admission to the school.
"He's probably a little heavier than what he should be," Dooley said. "We have to trim him up and then tone him back."***If Phillips is big fellow newcomer, Daniel McCullers is a giant.
The junior college transfer from Georgia Military College is a 6-6, 377-pound defensive lineman.
"He's huge," Dooley said. "He's got a lot of work to do in understanding technique and effort and all that stuff, but he's a big guy and he's had a great attitude. Now it is just a matter of how much he can learn and how quickly he can apply it."***Phillips and McCullers are in the newcomers group practicing in this weekend's evening sessions. Those practices, as Dooley expected, have been much sloppier than the morning session with veterans.
"It was about like most of the freshmen practices," Dooley said. "Their heads are spinning and they have no idea what we're talking about. The ones that go out and play fast and don't worry about all of that always look a little better."***Dooley spent extra time watching the running backs during early position drills. "A machine never gets tired!" he yelled as the backs worked under assistant coach Jay Graham.
Sophomore Marlin Lane and junior Rajion Neal are fighting for carries at the position.
"I think (the competition) helps their ability to push themselves in practice," Dooley said.***Junior receiver Da'Rick Rogers, coming off a 1,000-yard performance last year and a rumor-filled but ultimately uneventful offseason, spoke affably with reporters after Saturday's practice.
He said the Vols' offense is becoming second nature for veterans.
"It's so much more fun because you don't have to think as much," Rogers said. "You can just come out and run the plays and really work on getting open and trying to make plays rather than worrying about where you have to be. Everybody is moving fast."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat