Daniel Hood on the beginning of the Vols' fall camp
Corey Miller's remembrances of spring are different from his Tennessee teammates.
Miller, however, was on a, uh, sabbatical in the spring. He was banished from all football activities due to academic issues.
So, he revealed Monday, now that he's back in good graces, he had a job in the spring.
"Yeah, I had a job,'' Miller said. "Over at the stadium, doing a little painting, print work, something like that.''
Miller was vague about the details of his tenure in the workforce. Apparently, he wasn't working on a mural. Asked if we'll see the fruits of his labors at the stadium, he laughed and said no.
Make no mistake, Miller is grateful to be back in the fold. Getting a second chance has changed his outlook.
"I had to change my focus and my mindset,'' he said. "Now I've got a completely different work ethic, so I'm happy about that.
"Coming back to the team, everything now is a whole lot better with me. I look at everything with such a more positive outlook.''
Miller loves the new coaching staff. The 6-foot-3, 257-pound junior is playing end.
"I think he shows some things in our nickel package where he can help us,'' coach Derek Dooley said.
"He's not a huge guy, but he's got some good twitch. He's gonna be right there in the mix.''
The practice field was more populated Monday, the first full-squad workout uniting the veterans and the newcomers.
That's a good thing. But it's also a reality check, a delicate transitional time when the coaches are observant toward attitudes.
"Everybody's moving around in the depth chart,'' said Dooley, "and if you focus on your self-improvement over where you are relative to the other guys, you tend to get a lot better.
"That's always an issue early in camp, especially when you bring the whole roster together. 'Cause now everybody's counting reps.''
Freshman Justin King got his reps on offense, after starting camp at linebacker. The 6-2, 225-pound Dunwoody, Ga., product worked at H-back, primarily.
Dooley attributed the move to a shortage of bodies in the wake of Cameron Clear's dismissal. Once past Mychal Rivera and Brendan Downs, the Vols are short on tight ends, so fullback Ben Bartholomew has been getting reps.
"We're not moving (King) just to get through practice,'' Dooley said. "We're moving him because we think he can help us.
"When we signed Justin we signed him as kind of an athlete. We've got a lot of bodies over at Sam (linebacker) and we've got a shortage of bodies on this other position.''
From the portion of practice open to the media it was obvious King was comfortable with the ball in his hands. He even did some work in a Wildcat-type package running the option.
Vincent Dallas was all for the move from receiver to the secondary. Dallas caught three passes as a true freshman but said he feels more at ease on defense.
"I'm a real aggressive guy,'' Dallas said, "and I jut wanted to bring that to the defense.''
Whether he'll end up at corner of safety is yet to be determined.
Devrin Young, Marlin Lane, Quenshaun Watson and Cordarrelle Patterson worked on kickoff returns.
Former UT running back Gerald Riggs Jr. paid a visit to watch practice, especially assistant coach Jay Graham and his running back drills.
Darrington Sentimore has clearly trimmed down since spring practice. Dooley gave him thumbs-up on conditioning. Mo Couch, too.