Tennessee thinking big on its defensive line

McCullers to nose tackle, Couch to end

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Defensive lineman Maurice Couch participates in a drill during spring practice at Haslam Field on Thursday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2012

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Defensive lineman Maurice Couch participates in a drill during spring practice at Haslam Field on Thursday.

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee defensive linemen Gregory Clark, front, and Maurice Couch, back, collide during practice at Haslam Field on Aug. 3. Couch was moved from nose tackle to defensive end Monday.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee defensive linemen Gregory Clark, front, and Maurice Couch, back, collide during practice at Haslam Field on Aug. 3. Couch was moved from nose tackle to defensive end Monday.

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McCullers to nose tackle, Couch to end

By Evan Woodbery

evan.woodbery@knoxnews.com

ELIZABETHTON — Tennessee's 360-pound immovable object could be lining up smack-dab over center when the Vols play their first snap on defense this season.

Junior college transfer Daniel McCullers — dubbed "Shade Tree" or "Green Mile" or any number of other nicknames befitting a man of his size — has climbed the depth chart at nose tackle after the Vols' first scrimmage.

Junior lineman Maurice Couch said Monday that he had been moved from nose to end, with McCullers taking over his spot in the middle. Another juco player, Darrington Sentimore, is currently on the first team at the other end. Senior Daniel Hood is back inside at second-team nose tackle after working on the outside for much of camp.

The moves may be temporary, as coaches continue to search for the right combination in new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri's 3-4 scheme. But the shuffling offers a window on the coaches' thinking with about three weeks left until kickoff.

"This is a week where we can move guys around, for a lot of reasons — either evaluation purposes or contingency plans," said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley.

The moves came as the Vols practiced for the first time at Milligan College, a small Christian liberal arts school in northeastern Tennessee. UT has been staying at Milligan since Thursday night, but weather and logistics moved the first two practices down the road to Johnson City.

"It's been an awesome experience," Dooley said.

Assembling the defensive line has proven to be one of the most vexing questions of camp, and

first-year line coach John Palermo has pushed the juco newcomers hard.

Sentimore, who started his career at Alabama before leaving for junior college, quickly grabbed a first-team spot. But McCullers, because of his girth, has had to overcome doubts about his conditioning. The 6-foot-7 giant weighed as much as 380 in the spring, but has cut down to the neighborhood of 360. He carries the weight well, and certainly doesn't look fat. (Not that anyone would suggest otherwise to his face).

While McCullers is scheduled to meet with reporters for the first time later this week, teammates say he doesn't say much.

"He's a quiet guy, but he's coming out of his shell," Couch said. "I had the same issues when I first came here as well."

Couch has taken McCullers under his wing because of their similar juco backgrounds. Couch said he felt lost early in the 2011 season before finally becoming comfortable, and he wants McCullers to avoid that tough transition.

"It took me five games before I finally got in a groove," Couch said.

Now Couch could be learning a new position. Listed at 6-2 and 300 pounds, Couch has the body to be nose guard, but Dooley said he's "flexible" enough to play end.

"I had a lot of mistakes (on the first day), but there were some good things that I did," Couch said. "I'm going to learn from my mistakes."

The biggest change, Couch said, is that ends have to make more decisions. In the middle, offensive linemen come "crashing down on you" the instant the ball is snapped.

"At end, it feels awkward, because you have a lot of freedom," he said.

A three-man line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore would weigh an average of 315 pounds, more if you use McCuller's official listed weight of 377.

"Coach thinks us three have done a real good job of defending the run, so he pretty much put three big bodies up front," Couch said.

Is bigger better, or is this just another of many changes still to come before Tennessee kicks off in Atlanta on Aug. 31?

"Our first priority is to defend the run," Couch said.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 59

utdanman writes:

Almost 1,000 lbs of worth of big dudes to anchor the d-line. I like it!

TheVolSnake writes:

Regardless of with "Big" three play up front they will have great backs ups so they can rotate in and out and stay fresh.

Unlike last year when we didn't have that many back ups and they (Players) were worn down latter in the games.

VolGrad writes:

Just learn the assignments and press ahead. Be ready to ambush the 'pack on the 31st.

Go Vols!!!

Colliervol writes:

Finally some size and depth on the D-Line. Certainly better than having some 270 pounders in the middle like we did the last couple of years. Malik Jackson did an outstanding job at DT but let's face it. It's hard to hold up in the fourth quarter when you have no depth and you have 320 lb linemen beating you up all game long.

TheVolSnake writes:

On Daniel McCullers

One big opportunity exists at the newly created nose-tackle spot in the 3-4 alignment and massive junior college transfer Daniel McCullers looks tailor-made for the spot. Everyone is extremely anxious to see if McCullers (6-foot-8, 365 pounds) can become the immovable force in the middle of the new three-man front that his sheer size suggests he could be also he came to school in shape, some said even stronger and faster.

By the way he had 15 sacks in 8 games last year so all indications are that he can move for a big man.

From the Scouts write up: He is surprisingly nimble for as big as he is, McCullers is a space eating nose guard capable of pushing a center and guard straight backwards. He's not going to have the lateral quickness to make a lot of plays laterally, but he makes it tough for defenses to go up the middle. Relatively effective in the passing game because of his good straight ahead push and long arms allow him to clog passing lanes up the middle. Conditioning is a concern - Scott Kennedy

Walls Said about McCullers: "He's going to surprise you," Walls said. "He's not a big, lazy guy. He gives effort. That big guy can move.

"He's very strong. His first time in the weight room, he went in there and threw up about 440 (pounds in the bench press)

exlineman writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

On Daniel McCullers

One big opportunity exists at the newly created nose-tackle spot in the 3-4 alignment and massive junior college transfer Daniel McCullers looks tailor-made for the spot. Everyone is extremely anxious to see if McCullers (6-foot-8, 365 pounds) can become the immovable force in the middle of the new three-man front that his sheer size suggests he could be also he came to school in shape, some said even stronger and faster.

By the way he had 15 sacks in 8 games last year so all indications are that he can move for a big man.

From the Scouts write up: He is surprisingly nimble for as big as he is, McCullers is a space eating nose guard capable of pushing a center and guard straight backwards. He's not going to have the lateral quickness to make a lot of plays laterally, but he makes it tough for defenses to go up the middle. Relatively effective in the passing game because of his good straight ahead push and long arms allow him to clog passing lanes up the middle. Conditioning is a concern - Scott Kennedy

Walls Said about McCullers: "He's going to surprise you," Walls said. "He's not a big, lazy guy. He gives effort. That big guy can move.

"He's very strong. His first time in the weight room, he went in there and threw up about 440 (pounds in the bench press)

GREAT POST, vol snake, this is the kind of post that fans like to see and read, keep up the great posts.

pingkr62 writes:

It's pretty obvious things are improving. But of course our beloved trolls won't think so. G.B.O.!!!

Bobsrazor writes:

Heh! I read the start of this phrase "A three-man line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore" as "A tree-line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore...." we can only hope that they play with the same force and fury as the Ents (the giant tree-like creatures of Middle Earth from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) when they attacked Isengard.

TheVolSnake writes:

Darrington Sentimore is a JUCO defensive line recruit taken in the 2012 recruiting class. Sentimore was actually a part of Alabama’s team but left and went to Gulf Coast Community College. Sentimore is big, measuring 6’3 275. Sentimore will play defensive end in the 3-4 scheme and currently listed in a starting position. He is very familiar to the 3-4 and Coach Sal having played for him at Bama in the 3-4. He has two years to play want to come in and make an immediate empact. Sentimore and McCullers will need to make an impact for the Tennessee defense to realize its full potential, currently it looks though the fall practice both have taken on the roles and responsibly.

Sentimore came in to spring practice a little out of shape and after a heart to heart talking to by the coaches; Sentimore entered the fall practice in shape and a new attitude. He is now entrenched as a starter.

I had but couldn't find the stats from last year but I remember they were outstanding.

Colliervol writes:

in response to Bobsrazor:

Heh! I read the start of this phrase "A three-man line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore" as "A tree-line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore...." we can only hope that they play with the same force and fury as the Ents (the giant tree-like creatures of Middle Earth from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) when they attacked Isengard.

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Finally some size and depth on the D-Line. Certainly better than having some 270 pounders in the middle like we did the last couple of years. Malik Jackson did an outstanding job at DT but let's face it. It's hard to hold up in the fourth quarter when you have no depth and you have 320 lb linemen beating you up all game long.

"Good big guys beat good little guys."- John Madden

TheVolSnake writes:

Stats and Bio on Darrington Sentimore

The best thing about Sentimore is he has proven he can be a disruptive force on the highest level. He played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman at Alabama and recorded nine tackles, forced a fumble and had four quarterback hurries, drawing praise from Bama coaches and excitement from its fans.

At University Of Alabama/Gulf Coast Community College in 2011, in 8 games, recorded 39 tackles, five tackles for loss, seven sacks and recovered a fumble

As a prep star, he was ranked in Rivals.com's top 250 players and finished as the No. 13 defensive tackle and the No. 7 player in Louisiana ... Scout.com lists him as the No. 23 defensive end while ESPNU has him as the No. 20 defensive tackle ... Rivals.com also ranks him as the fifth-strongest defensive tackle in the nation ... a SuperPrep All-American and the No. 41 defensive lineman according to the publication ... also rated as the eighth-best player in Louisiana by SuperPrep ... first-team All-State by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association ... No. 79 on Scout.com's Southeast 150 list ... recorded 120 tackles, 47 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior in 2007, notched 78 tackles and six sacks as a senior in 2008.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

Heck, this probably went over the heads of some of the literates as well. Remember, there are some who never read Tolkien, or saw The Lord of the Rings saga.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

"Good big guys beat good little guys."- John Madden

+1..

TheVolSnake writes:

McCullers at nose tackle is huge (no pun intended) even if he only plays part time (running situations) think about what this does or limits opposing offenses. 3 and short no more QB sneaks and runs up the middle and forces the running back to go to the tackle hole or outside. This gives the rest of the defense time to react to the ball. Him being on goal line produces about the same results. Couch and Sentimore have size and lateral speed so short yardage and run defense should be outstanding with the big three in at the same time.

On normal plays he will require at least a double team block therefore opening another lineman or linebacker an opening to make a play in the back field.

Intimidating think about the QB coming to the line and seeing a 6’6” 360 lineman looking you in the face and the center having to try to snap the ball and then block him. Most running backs weight around the 200 to 225 and if he lands on them or gets a direct hit on them a couple of times a game, it will slow them down.

All reports I saw on the scrimmage he was throwing people around and was a very disruptive force.

Now if he starts or not I see him being a very valuable member of the D. line this year, I personally think he will be the starter.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Bobsrazor:

Heh! I read the start of this phrase "A three-man line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore" as "A tree-line made up of Couch, McCullers and Sentimore...." we can only hope that they play with the same force and fury as the Ents (the giant tree-like creatures of Middle Earth from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) when they attacked Isengard.

Junior college transfer Daniel McCullers — dubbed "Shade Tree" or "Green Mile"

or now "Treebeard"

Are orcs related to trolls, because Ents stomp on orcs.

iowavol writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

Agree, but it would have been better without the parenthetical definition - didn't need it. Ents and Isengard, 'nuff said.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

McCullers at nose tackle is huge (no pun intended) even if he only plays part time (running situations) think about what this does or limits opposing offenses. 3 and short no more QB sneaks and runs up the middle and forces the running back to go to the tackle hole or outside. This gives the rest of the defense time to react to the ball. Him being on goal line produces about the same results. Couch and Sentimore have size and lateral speed so short yardage and run defense should be outstanding with the big three in at the same time.

On normal plays he will require at least a double team block therefore opening another lineman or linebacker an opening to make a play in the back field.

Intimidating think about the QB coming to the line and seeing a 6’6” 360 lineman looking you in the face and the center having to try to snap the ball and then block him. Most running backs weight around the 200 to 225 and if he lands on them or gets a direct hit on them a couple of times a game, it will slow them down.

All reports I saw on the scrimmage he was throwing people around and was a very disruptive force.

Now if he starts or not I see him being a very valuable member of the D. line this year, I personally think he will be the starter.

Let's just hope he's never in a situation like that LSU game having to rush off the field or get an illegal participation penalty. I know for his size he's quick, but c'mon, how fast will he be able to shuffle on and off the field??

FWBVol writes:

This defensive line has the potential to be the best at Tennessee since John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth lined up together. This front should be able to push the offensive line into the backfield and blow up things before they get started.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to FWBVol:

This defensive line has the potential to be the best at Tennessee since John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth lined up together. This front should be able to push the offensive line into the backfield and blow up things before they get started.

You said a mouthful there..I don't know if they'll have the killer instincts that John Henderson possessed, but if they are even close to his intensity, look out! GBO!!

BolivrBob writes:

Good thread. "The Ents"! Hehe I like it! Tyler
Bombadil at QB.

volgrog#210164 writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Stats and Bio on Darrington Sentimore

The best thing about Sentimore is he has proven he can be a disruptive force on the highest level. He played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman at Alabama and recorded nine tackles, forced a fumble and had four quarterback hurries, drawing praise from Bama coaches and excitement from its fans.

At University Of Alabama/Gulf Coast Community College in 2011, in 8 games, recorded 39 tackles, five tackles for loss, seven sacks and recovered a fumble

As a prep star, he was ranked in Rivals.com's top 250 players and finished as the No. 13 defensive tackle and the No. 7 player in Louisiana ... Scout.com lists him as the No. 23 defensive end while ESPNU has him as the No. 20 defensive tackle ... Rivals.com also ranks him as the fifth-strongest defensive tackle in the nation ... a SuperPrep All-American and the No. 41 defensive lineman according to the publication ... also rated as the eighth-best player in Louisiana by SuperPrep ... first-team All-State by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association ... No. 79 on Scout.com's Southeast 150 list ... recorded 120 tackles, 47 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior in 2007, notched 78 tackles and six sacks as a senior in 2008.

If you want to know why TN has to recruit out of state, this guy was the 8th best prospect in LA. He would have been #1 in TN.

If you can get 2/3 of the best players in LA, you've got 5-6 four and five star players. Add in a few good players from Texas and some 3*'s and you've got a top 5 class every year.

UT used to get good players from LA when LSU was down. UT will get them again if everyone gets on the same page. Winning will get everyone (fans, players, coaches, administrators, boosters) moving in the same direction. This is why it is important to support the team this year. The trolls are afraid. They are getting louder and louder because they know it is a matter of time before TN is once again TN. Their only chance is to try to sow discord in the fanbase.

Your support will determine if everyone is on board- no empty seats in Knoxville this year. We can evaluate coaches and players after the season. IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! WE'RE COMING TO TAKE WHAT'S OURS FL, SC, GA, AL, MSTATE, MO, KY, vandy!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hueypilot writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

Not exactly sure you qualify as an illiterate just because you don't read Tolkein.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

We got the BEEF! GBO!

oldster writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Darrington Sentimore is a JUCO defensive line recruit taken in the 2012 recruiting class. Sentimore was actually a part of Alabama’s team but left and went to Gulf Coast Community College. Sentimore is big, measuring 6’3 275. Sentimore will play defensive end in the 3-4 scheme and currently listed in a starting position. He is very familiar to the 3-4 and Coach Sal having played for him at Bama in the 3-4. He has two years to play want to come in and make an immediate empact. Sentimore and McCullers will need to make an impact for the Tennessee defense to realize its full potential, currently it looks though the fall practice both have taken on the roles and responsibly.

Sentimore came in to spring practice a little out of shape and after a heart to heart talking to by the coaches; Sentimore entered the fall practice in shape and a new attitude. He is now entrenched as a starter.

I had but couldn't find the stats from last year but I remember they were outstanding.

According to the magazine, Football Time, Sentimore is 290 and Walls is 295 (or the other way around, I forget). McCullers has been timed in 5.1 in the 40. This is certainly the biggest defensive line in the history of UT. I wonder if anyone else has noted that all three come via junior colleges?

oldster writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Let's just hope he's never in a situation like that LSU game having to rush off the field or get an illegal participation penalty. I know for his size he's quick, but c'mon, how fast will he be able to shuffle on and off the field??

5.1 in the 40.

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

And this is the same defense the offense had it's way with and ran right through during the first scrimmage? Nice!

Snapshot writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

And this is the same defense the offense had it's way with and ran right through during the first scrimmage? Nice!

You don't know that the first team off. was going against the first team def.

Way to show your ignorance.....Nice!

claiborneh writes:

Why are we practicing at Milligan College when we have a state of he art practice facility that we need to spend millions of more on for upgrades? Did I miss the reason?

volhitman writes:

in response to claiborneh:

Why are we practicing at Milligan College when we have a state of he art practice facility that we need to spend millions of more on for upgrades? Did I miss the reason?

Yes

volhitman writes:

in response to claiborneh:

Why are we practicing at Milligan College when we have a state of he art practice facility that we need to spend millions of more on for upgrades? Did I miss the reason?

Sorry, claiborneh, couldn't help it, my goofy kicked in. Seems like I remember something about facilities upgrade still going on. One thing for sure, they will appreciate how good they have have it at home after this.

Vol_Believer writes:

"Shade Tree" McCullers........Has a nice ring to it . I like this guy already .

SCVFL writes:

Definitely, should be able to plug the middle with that beef. Good that a couple of them have experience with 3-4 D. Linebackers have a lot of responsibility to run game and blitz in a 3-4, which puts a H3LL of a lot of pressure on backs to single cover.
Looks like D is looking better.
If CDD lets his OC(?), DC, and assistants do the coaching and he does what he needs to do as field manager, the VOLS should be much improved.
Love me some VOL football
GO BIG RNG...VFL

CrankE writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!
(or run)

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

McCullers at nose tackle is huge (no pun intended) even if he only plays part time (running situations) think about what this does or limits opposing offenses. 3 and short no more QB sneaks and runs up the middle and forces the running back to go to the tackle hole or outside. This gives the rest of the defense time to react to the ball. Him being on goal line produces about the same results. Couch and Sentimore have size and lateral speed so short yardage and run defense should be outstanding with the big three in at the same time.

On normal plays he will require at least a double team block therefore opening another lineman or linebacker an opening to make a play in the back field.

Intimidating think about the QB coming to the line and seeing a 6’6” 360 lineman looking you in the face and the center having to try to snap the ball and then block him. Most running backs weight around the 200 to 225 and if he lands on them or gets a direct hit on them a couple of times a game, it will slow them down.

All reports I saw on the scrimmage he was throwing people around and was a very disruptive force.

Now if he starts or not I see him being a very valuable member of the D. line this year, I personally think he will be the starter.

Snake,

Do you think that they might use McCullers on offense, for when they need a yard or two?

Timbo_Slice writes:

The 2 deep chart should be very intresting!

Ayres_Hall writes:

Moving Couch to DE = getting the best DL on the field. We need Walls, Miller, and Hood to come along and provide/produce some depth. O'Brien, Taylor, and Phillips won't be ready for SEC level action, this year.

Jakevol writes:

Look forward seeing Shade Tree in action. Now I see what double D was talking about, "Can't push us around anymore"

Vol_Logic writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

Snake,

Do you think that they might use McCullers on offense, for when they need a yard or two?

I think they'll use Tiny Richardson... They tried him out there on a couple reps late last year. I wouldn't want to meet either one in the hole one-on-one though

rbwtn writes:

I am Stoked Let's play some Football and another thing stay off Bray's Back I did worse than him in College whoops did I say that? He has enough to worry about!

trubleoj#657755 writes:

I'd like to know who the front 7 for Goal line D are. Certainly these 4 are well over 1200lbs (Couch, Hood, McCullers, Sentimore). I guess some combo of past D line performers Walls, Bohannan, Fowlkes, Smith, Miller. If you put Walls, the frosh Phillips and soph Carson the goal line could be pushing a metric ton.

D-Line depth goes a long way to stopping 4Qtr offenses. sure have missed it for the past 3-4 years but I love it.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I give Dooley a lot of hell, but even I got to admit that bagging McCullers was an amazing "get." That boy is huge AND he can move like a man half his size.

Most people are excited to see Bray and Hunter. I'm excited to see this human-mountain hybrid play on Saturdays.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Razor, without a doubt, I can say for 100% certainty that this is the first time anybody has ever mentioned Ents and Middle Earth on this site. And I've been here since it started. It's not everyday that you get something new on here. Of course, like most subjects including football, you went right over the heads of some of the illiterates that hang out here. (You know who you are. I don't have to say it.)

I doubt many on here read Tolkien. But most saw the movies I'd think.

Frodo lives. GBO

Huttdawg100 writes:

For those that don't know, McCullers is knocking guys out. That's why Couch is being moved. McCullers is something special. I'm talking about Jesse Mahelona, John Henderson special. Couch came on strong the second half of last year, so he's not a slouch. Couch is an NFL talent. But McCullers is Bigger and Stronger. He's mean. McCullers, Sentimore, Couch for the defensive front sounds scary. That's 3 NFL defensive linemen. Herman Lathers, AJ and Maggitt are NFL linebackers. Waggner is an early round NFL CB, and we got experience coming back at DB.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I doubt many on here read Tolkien. But most saw the movies I'd think.

Frodo lives. GBO

I wonder how many on the team have read the books or seen the movies since they came out 11 years ago when they were all still in their single digits.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to volgrog#210164:

If you want to know why TN has to recruit out of state, this guy was the 8th best prospect in LA. He would have been #1 in TN.

If you can get 2/3 of the best players in LA, you've got 5-6 four and five star players. Add in a few good players from Texas and some 3*'s and you've got a top 5 class every year.

UT used to get good players from LA when LSU was down. UT will get them again if everyone gets on the same page. Winning will get everyone (fans, players, coaches, administrators, boosters) moving in the same direction. This is why it is important to support the team this year. The trolls are afraid. They are getting louder and louder because they know it is a matter of time before TN is once again TN. Their only chance is to try to sow discord in the fanbase.

Your support will determine if everyone is on board- no empty seats in Knoxville this year. We can evaluate coaches and players after the season. IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! WE'RE COMING TO TAKE WHAT'S OURS FL, SC, GA, AL, MSTATE, MO, KY, vandy!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can't look at recruiting that way, not at all. You would have to measure the competition, and to say he would be best in TN is going way out on a limb since you really have no way to measure the competition in his state against what he would have played against if he attended a high-school in Tennessee. Does Louisiana typically produce deeper talent pools with in state talent than Tennessee, yes, but you can't compare apples to oranges and be exact.

StoneJackBaller writes:

I'm hearing from a very reliable practice insider that McCullers is "off the chain" good. To the point that he may be the difference in winning games. I heard the reason Borque left practice was because McCullers "trucked" him and left him dazed, confused, and wondering where he was and if he wanted to keep playing. If this guy is legit - and it sounds like it - our season could be great. He will clog the middle and AJ Johnson, Maggit, Smith, and Lathers at LB will be all over the field making plays. I'm stoked and if everyone stays healthy I really think we can win the East. Especially since now I'm hearing Florida's QB Driskell broke a bone in his shoulder. NC State, come get some!

gc_scvol writes:

I've also heard that McCullers is pretty much unstoppable. With our young linebackers coming on, and Lathers coming back 100% we're gonna have a smashmouth 'D'. Can't wait to see this team in action. I think we're in for an awsome season. GBO VFL

Vol_Logic writes:

Wow... Check this out.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20...

Apparently Muschamp had the QBs take off the non-contact jerseys and Driskell ends up with a broken Left Scapula. I understand the idea of trying to get the QBs more realistic experience, but he's got to be questioning the move now. Too bad for Jeff, but good news for our defense!

Vol_Logic writes:

And now the link has been updated saying Driskell will be at practice tomorrow...innnteerressting

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