Corey Miller positive about second chance with Vols

(Saul Young/News Sentinel)
Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham tries to strip the ball from running back Devrin Young during practice at Haslam Field on Monday.

Photo by Saul Young, Knoxville News Sentinel

(Saul Young/News Sentinel) Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham tries to strip the ball from running back Devrin Young during practice at Haslam Field on Monday.

Daniel Hood on the beginning of the Vols' fall camp

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Corey Miller's remembrances of spring are different from his Tennessee teammates.

Neyland Stadium was involved in both cases. The Vols were scrimmaging there, doing the normal football things a team does in spring practice.

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.

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Comments » 24

2Geezy writes:

1st, GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!

lstbodeanvol writes:

get to work men we are ready to see this team on the field !!! go vols !!!!

Vols4life77 writes:

Everything seems better this year. The guys seem ready and their confidence and maturity has grown. Depth is much better. The key to some of these games will be can we run and put ourselves in short yardage situations or pick up that 3rd and 1.Time will tell and I can't freakin wait!!

VolGrad writes:

Mo is up to 300 lbs and looks like he's still got the shoulder pads on after he takes them off -- wide load.

Smokeydog1 writes:

Keep working hard vols! Good attitude & effort = Good results on the field!! Outwork the rest of the SEC!

laraccoon writes:

Wilcox recruited well , Sal will benefit from that . since he is still listed as sophomore was he officially redshirted or just considered on holiday ?

keepitreal4vols writes:

Devrin provides everything necessary to be the special team guru. I predict he will take one to the checkerboards this year. Lets settle on our returner now, not during the season.

pingkr62 writes:

24 days and counting. It's almost FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!

Vol_in_GA writes:

Can't help but feel optimistic about our chances this year. Just hope everybody <knocking on wood> stays healthy and out of trouble.

ivyvol writes:

Totally off topic and irrelevent to good coaching but watching Dooley's post practice media interviews drives me crazy. He's supposed to be an educator and graduated from a pretty good university yet he needs a grammar coach. Him and I instead of he and I and so and so is doing good instead of well?? C'mon coach!! No wonder we're getting out recruited by Vanderbilt.

proudveteran writes:

in response to 2Geezy:

1st, GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what? Big deal! Maybe the NS will award you with a roll of toliet paper!

exlineman writes:

in response to ivyvol:

Totally off topic and irrelevent to good coaching but watching Dooley's post practice media interviews drives me crazy. He's supposed to be an educator and graduated from a pretty good university yet he needs a grammar coach. Him and I instead of he and I and so and so is doing good instead of well?? C'mon coach!! No wonder we're getting out recruited by Vanderbilt.

Well old Bodeane is now giving Coach Dooley and our fans English lessons. Peabody Jim, while you are teaching proper grammar etc., go back and correct your spelling. irrelevent is spelled ( irrevelant) and while you are correcting that, put a comma after university and before yet. Looks like you need to put something else as your screen name.

exlineman writes:

Peabody Jim, I misspelled it myself. Correct spelling my mistake should be irrelevant. Should have proof read better.

haywoodchapman writes:

Original edition of this story listed Corey Miller as a sophomore;someone must have notified the paper.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Notice the screen name............1stBodeanVol. Hope the copy cat kid Bodeane is paying attention to that !

Timbo_Slice writes:

I've been wondering about C. Miller's status. I haven't heard his name mentioned this year and he wasn't listed in the pre season magazine I got. I assumed he was off the team for good. Glad he is back and hope he can contribute in Neyland Stadium in other ways than he has done so far this year! At that size, I wonder how he would fit in at the "Jack" posistion?

wildmed writes:

Talk is cheap and I'm not sure the rhetoric from coaches or players is much different this year from any year in the past, including the great Neyland and his amazing teams. The proof is what happens on the field; produce there and we'll all rejoice!

gc_scvol writes:

in response to ivyvol:

Totally off topic and irrelevent to good coaching but watching Dooley's post practice media interviews drives me crazy. He's supposed to be an educator and graduated from a pretty good university yet he needs a grammar coach. Him and I instead of he and I and so and so is doing good instead of well?? C'mon coach!! No wonder we're getting out recruited by Vanderbilt.

Peabody Jim, isn't it about time for your water aerobics at the "Y" ?
...

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Devrin provides everything necessary to be the special team guru. I predict he will take one to the checkerboards this year. Lets settle on our returner now, not during the season.

Young has definitely spiced up an awful return game..At one point we couldn't even field a punt..Patterson put up fat numbers returning kick offs in JC..50 yard average and 3 TD's on 10 returns..Thats huge even for JC ball..Iam curious when the last time we had a KO return for a TD..Last one I recall was Peerless Price against Bama in 1998..Thats a heck of a long drought.Can't wait to see if Patterson lives up to the billing..Have a feeling we will see him on lots of fade routes to the corner of the end zone

voloffaith writes:

in response to proudveteran:

So what? Big deal! Maybe the NS will award you with a roll of toliet paper!

Now that's the Olympic spirit!! French toilet paper "toliet"....NS = Knoxville News Sentinel...

On topic, welcome back Corey! Keep doing the books as that sheepskin could be valuable when futbol playing days are over...

Navaloranges writes:

in response to proudveteran:

So what? Big deal! Maybe the NS will award you with a roll of toliet paper!

...or a hard copy.

Pompey writes:

in response to ivyvol:

Totally off topic and irrelevent to good coaching but watching Dooley's post practice media interviews drives me crazy. He's supposed to be an educator and graduated from a pretty good university yet he needs a grammar coach. Him and I instead of he and I and so and so is doing good instead of well?? C'mon coach!! No wonder we're getting out recruited by Vanderbilt.

...one of the upsides of Dooley having a successful season is that I won't have to see BS like this on this site.....!

TheVolSnake writes:

I posted this on another thread yesterday, but I think applies to this thread also.

A lot of the talk will be on (CP) C. Patterson a 6-foot-4, 215 blue-chip receiver. But the biggest impact for the Vol’s upcoming season maybe on the Defensive side.

Daniel McCullers 6-6, 380 lbs and O’Brien 6-2, 293 will be pushing for starting positions on the Defensive line, McNeil (Safety) and Bonner (corner) will be in the fight for playing time in the defensive back field. Even if none start the season they all provide quality backups for the respective positions. I expect to see all of them to see significant playing time this year.

With all the attention being focused on (CP) has taken the pressure off Wide receivers D. Bowles 6-1, 205 and J. Crooms at 6-5, 233. Because of the Big Three already projected as the starters both Bowles and Crooms are not likely to be to be starters but like both Hunter and D. Rodgers did during their freshman season make significant contributions throughout the year.

Three running backs will be also entering the mix for tail back Davante Bouque and Quenshaun Watson and Alden Hill. Of the three Davante Bouque 6- 2, 210, will be among the biggest backs on UT’s roster. He moves well for a big man and could see some time as a short yardage back this year.

Al lot of talk early this year was on Pig Howard 5-10, 175 4.4 speed (some say a bit faster) as a WR/ Slot back/running back and return man, he was injured during spring practice and is not expected back till at least the third game of the season (Gators). Don’t be surprised if Watson doesn’t fill in as return and alternate tail back. Watson was the top sprinter in Georgia, winning the state championship in the 100-meter sprint. His time of 10.54 seconds would have been a top-20 performance in the 2012 SEC outdoor track championships. Also something to watch on the return game will be on (CP) C. Patterson who averaged an astounding 51 yards per return at Hutchinson Community College.

There is several others that came in and could make dramatic impacts this year only time will tell.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I posted this on another thread yesterday, but I think applies to this thread also.

A lot of the talk will be on (CP) C. Patterson a 6-foot-4, 215 blue-chip receiver. But the biggest impact for the Vol’s upcoming season maybe on the Defensive side.

Daniel McCullers 6-6, 380 lbs and O’Brien 6-2, 293 will be pushing for starting positions on the Defensive line, McNeil (Safety) and Bonner (corner) will be in the fight for playing time in the defensive back field. Even if none start the season they all provide quality backups for the respective positions. I expect to see all of them to see significant playing time this year.

With all the attention being focused on (CP) has taken the pressure off Wide receivers D. Bowles 6-1, 205 and J. Crooms at 6-5, 233. Because of the Big Three already projected as the starters both Bowles and Crooms are not likely to be to be starters but like both Hunter and D. Rodgers did during their freshman season make significant contributions throughout the year.

Three running backs will be also entering the mix for tail back Davante Bouque and Quenshaun Watson and Alden Hill. Of the three Davante Bouque 6- 2, 210, will be among the biggest backs on UT’s roster. He moves well for a big man and could see some time as a short yardage back this year.

Al lot of talk early this year was on Pig Howard 5-10, 175 4.4 speed (some say a bit faster) as a WR/ Slot back/running back and return man, he was injured during spring practice and is not expected back till at least the third game of the season (Gators). Don’t be surprised if Watson doesn’t fill in as return and alternate tail back. Watson was the top sprinter in Georgia, winning the state championship in the 100-meter sprint. His time of 10.54 seconds would have been a top-20 performance in the 2012 SEC outdoor track championships. Also something to watch on the return game will be on (CP) C. Patterson who averaged an astounding 51 yards per return at Hutchinson Community College.

There is several others that came in and could make dramatic impacts this year only time will tell.

Very nice analysis. The only thing that I would add is a concern with CP on the return teams. Traditionally, the best returners have a lot of speed, but more importantly a little shiftyness with an ability to cut quickly. Thus, you are looking at Howard or Young to be the primary returners. Plus, returners have a relatively high injury rate due to the speed of the collisions; I would rather not risk DR or CP in that role. CP's stats on the returns is a result of a man vs boys, he was able to physically dominate the JC circuit.

It will be different in the SEC with special teams generally being the freshmen and sophomores that have SEC talent, but are in backup roles. Even UF only played the starters on special teams primarily in the speed positions (punt block). Demps and Rainey were not the primary punt/KO returners.

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