Marlon Walls on board with new defense, attitude

Tennessee defensive lineman Marlon Walls jokes with head coach Derek Dooley during the Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium Saturday, April 21, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee defensive lineman Marlon Walls jokes with head coach Derek Dooley during the Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium Saturday, April 21, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Marlon Walls quickly became a big fan of Tennessee's new 3-4 defense. He's also learning to like the new player who sometimes could be lined up next to him.

Daniel McCullers, a junior college transfer from Georgia Military Academy, is one of UT's most intriguing signees for obvious reasons. He's 6-foot-6, 377 pounds, and according to those who have seen him, looks every bit of it.

"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)."

McCullers still has to prove he can make the adjustment from junior college to major college football. But his teammates have to make an adjustment, too, in the 3-4 alignment.

That's nothing new for Walls, who was an all-state linebacker in Olive Branch, Miss., and has played both tackle and end on UT's defensive front.

"I'm very comfortable," he said. "I think I've changed so much, I'm used to change. If I don't change, I'm thinking, 'What's going on?' "

He has embraced his

and sounds grateful to new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri for placing him in a position where he can make plays. He also likes the flexibility involved in his position.

"I'm a straight defensive end or I can slide inside sometimes," he said. "So sometimes, I'm going against guards. It's a big challenge.

"The guys did a great job of teaching me the position. Going into the fall, I'm really comfortable with my position on the field."

The defense isn't all that's new, according to Walls, who, like so many of his teammates, has touted the team's improved togetherness, leadership and work ethic this offseason.

"I think we have guys who are committed," he said. "A bunch of 'no-names' as coach Sal says. Guys like that are going to work for you all the time.

"Our work ethic has changed. We're really going after things this year."

John Adams is a senior columnist. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

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Comments » 57

OrangePsyched writes:

Look forward to a bunch of headhunters flying aroung the field going ballistic on all things not orange. The defense will play with a lot of passion and aggression under Sal this year. Turn the ball over to the offense and watch them light it up.

nocleats writes:

Would love to see a Fighting attitude. Kinda like if your gonna play us, be ready for hittin, kickin, eye gougin, spittin, pushing late,piling on,pinching, biting, elbowing, kidney punching dirt tossing,rabbit punchin, throat punching, foot stomping, finger breaking, nasty arsed meaner than heck defense that will have your trainers working overtime and your coaches crying foul. GET MEAN!!!!

willblitz4bacon writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would love to see a Fighting attitude. Kinda like if your gonna play us, be ready for hittin, kickin, eye gougin, spittin, pushing late,piling on,pinching, biting, elbowing, kidney punching dirt tossing,rabbit punchin, throat punching, foot stomping, finger breaking, nasty arsed meaner than heck defense that will have your trainers working overtime and your coaches crying foul. GET MEAN!!!!

I love it! You sound like my high school football coach from 1996-1999. Back when we were taught to take someones head off. Not like some of these "san fransisco bead wetting fairies" .

AHOUSE writes:

This rat needs to be removed from this site! He is nothing but negative and not a vol.

IndyVolFan writes:

Nasty should get a job with the Sentinel. He's on here more than Adams and the rest of the beat writers combined! Would be about the same type of coverage too ... all negative.

nocleats writes:

in response to willblitz4bacon:

I love it! You sound like my high school football coach from 1996-1999. Back when we were taught to take someones head off. Not like some of these "san fransisco bead wetting fairies" .

Do it like this!
http://vimeo.com/7455814

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Marlon really sounds impressed with coach Sal's scheme and McCullers is a freakin animal..GBO!!

pingkr62 writes:

Good luck Marlon, The O.B. is watching. Give them hell. G.B.O.!!!!

Snapshot writes:

in response to AHOUSE:

This rat needs to be removed from this site! He is nothing but negative and not a vol.

Hit suggest removal, it works.

Snapshot writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tired, bitter old man.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Tired, bitter old man.

old fool.

Bigger_Al writes:

Can't wait to see McCullers in action. He and Sentimore are crucial in seeing how effective the D-Line can be. Couch, Walls, Miller (will he be back?), Bohannon, Wiliams, add a couple of white guys to the mix, and a couple more Freshman... Could get interesting!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm certain a weasel/rat like you will confront Marlon Walls and tell him that very thing..Not! You're a big man hiding behind a keyboard..Do you have a life outside of this twisted obsession you have with CDD??

bogey74 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh Nasty, fast and loose with facts again as usual. Dooley had no intention of keeping all of the assistants from last year. He alluded to that on more than one occasion. Thanks for continuing to show your bias and lack of honesty.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

I love it! Let's play some football! The Orange Crush is back folks!

Go Big Orange!

lstbodeanvol writes:

STAY HEALTHY MARLON AND BRING THAT 3-4 DEFENSE GO VOLS !!!!!!!

Tru138 writes:

BREAKING NEWS! UT FOOTBALL COACH DEREK DOOLEY FINDS CURE FOR CANCER! Poor ole Jeffy seen walking around his front yard in his underwear and mumbling "What took him so long, blah blah blah, a real coach would've found it sooner, blah blah blah, someone look at me, blah blah blah, stole my lunch money, blah blah blah, picked last in kill ball, blah blah blah, went to the prom alone, blah blah blah, fourth team, blah blah blah, never dressed out, blah blah blah, SOMEONE CALL RICHMOND! blah blah blah, oomph, cough, ack.............dooleave........pffffft!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would love to see a Fighting attitude. Kinda like if your gonna play us, be ready for hittin, kickin, eye gougin, spittin, pushing late,piling on,pinching, biting, elbowing, kidney punching dirt tossing,rabbit punchin, throat punching, foot stomping, finger breaking, nasty arsed meaner than heck defense that will have your trainers working overtime and your coaches crying foul. GET MEAN!!!!

nocleats,

I was in agreement with all you said until I saw the word "NASTY". Why did I suddenly think about a troll when I saw that??????

Go Vols, my friend

RaineyVol writes:

Derrick Henry is about to Commit to the Vols

AHOUSE writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Hit suggest removal, it works.

Thanks, I did after my request but they won't shut him down.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to RaineyVol:

Derrick Henry is about to Commit to the Vols

Eh, I wouldn't hold my breath. Henry is elite talent. With this current coach and staff there's probably a two star back in rural Georgia somewhere with an FIU, WKU, UNT, and Tennessee offer who's ready to 'get on board.'

BankerVol writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

F-Off Rat!

SavTnVol writes:

" a bunch of no names"..I love it!..that's exactly what I thought about the 1998 bunch and look how they ended up..GBO

VOL75ga writes:

I didn’t expect too much Dooley’s first year and was pleasantly surprised. I got caught up in all the “We are much improved” talk before the second Dooley year and was greatly disappointed. Much as I would like to see the results of the vast improvement I keep hearing about, I am not going to get excited about this year until after a win the third game of the season. That will determine the kind of year the Vols will have.

bigorangebolt writes:

I can't wait until I see this new defense in Hotlanta! Come on Orange Wave to Atlanta!
Go Vols!

http://CraigBolton.zeekler.com

TheVolSnake writes:

Believe me when I say our Defense is going to be much better than last year and we were the 28th ranked.

Some have has up preseason ranked as high as #11

By the way the RAT is gone, KNS booted him, But you know he will be back with a new name spouting the same old stuff. Hit the suggest removal it works.

As stated in the lines just above the Comment box " comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy."

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I'm thinking Marlon is gonna have a big year. He's kinda been lost in the mix of names, even by me. But thinking about it....he was always an odd fit for a 4-3. Too big for DE, yet too small for DT. I know he's in the 280lb. Range and athletic for his size. Should prove to be a really solid 3-4 DE IMO. Not to mention he's stuck with his commitment to the Vols through coaching changes, prep school (I think) and all. Can't think of anyone more deserving.

mtthw741 writes:

I just think its nice to read a football article about...........FOOTBALL! GBO!!!

Vo2Vol writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

Eh, I wouldn't hold my breath. Henry is elite talent. With this current coach and staff there's probably a two star back in rural Georgia somewhere with an FIU, WKU, UNT, and Tennessee offer who's ready to 'get on board.'

Really? This coach has brought in some very good recruits and for the first time in 3 years we are not undersized and actually have some experience. Are you going to be the new RAT?

brokendownoldvol writes:

In HS depending on who we played I played nose tackle, strong saftey or corner. I played one whole half against Columbia at middle linebacker and we shut them out that half.They went undefeated that yr. My twin brother actually played every postion on defense in at least one game that same season. I wonder if anyone else has ever done that in 5A HS football? It made me a better player at every position and althougth I only weighed 130# on a 5A team I led the team in tackles and we had a couple shutouts. Bottom line , it's football smarts and heart that makes a good player. Moving players around IMO gives them a better sense of the game. Walls seams to have that .

TheVolSnake writes:

I don’t know if you all have noticed but every article I have seen this year where a Defensive player has been interviewed there is a trend.

They always seem very excited about the new defense and coaches.

They always talk about how good another player is going to be on the team and supports them.

Both these talking points they bring up show team first attitude, player cohesion and total excitement for the upcoming season. Every one of these articles I have read each player has used the word “surprise” which I think we will this year Surprise a lot of teams and others of how good we will be.

Phil Steele has us listed in the preseason as the 11th best defense in the nation. http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/2012/... Phil Steele projections on Defense

With our Offense as good as it should be and if our defense is as good as predicted the word “watch out” applies to this season.

RatherBeDrivingaTitleist writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

Eh, I wouldn't hold my breath. Henry is elite talent. With this current coach and staff there's probably a two star back in rural Georgia somewhere with an FIU, WKU, UNT, and Tennessee offer who's ready to 'get on board.'

You may be right about Henry, but the QB Ferguson commit shows that there are quality players out there that like what they see on the hill.

TrueVOL64 writes:

Does anyone else think it is a horrible thing when it take 2 day for a positive article to reach 30 comments but they post another BS article telling us the same story about Bray it gets 30 comments in couple of hours!! People lets be positive about the upcoming season! I cant speak for anyone else but I will cheer for my VOLS no matter what their record is and I will support who ever is coaching and playing on Saturday/Friday!! You will never see me leave Neyland stadium early like all those Fair-Weather "fans"!! Real Vols lets keep our heads up remember the season hasn't even started yet and I want to see how it plays out not throw in the towel on predictions made people on message boards!!! GO VOLS!!!

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)

I for one cant wait to see the D. Line in action this year.

Voltman writes:

I know this article is mainly about Marlon Walls. But Damn if im not excited about McCullers this season. Get ready SEC kickers Mount McCullers is gonna scare the bejesus outta you

TheVolSnake writes:

On Marlon Walls

Marlon Walls - You won't find anyone more excited about the upcoming season that Walls. The Memphis native has bounced from end to tackle in his Tennessee career and like Fowlkes feels he's at his home at defensive end in the 3-4. Walls' biggest challenge heading into the 2012 season is to develop more consistency. He must be more physical. Part of the reason he was moved back to end a year ago is that he physically couldn't hold up in the interior. He is more comfortable at his natural position of defensive end. In the spring practice/game he played with more confidence. Now with a full year removed from the Achilles injury, Walls believes that he will be better than ever after a summer of no limitations.

Ayres_Hall writes:

We better all hope that Marlon Walls is second team or better yet, third team come Aug. 31.

RaineyVol writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

Eh, I wouldn't hold my breath. Henry is elite talent. With this current coach and staff there's probably a two star back in rural Georgia somewhere with an FIU, WKU, UNT, and Tennessee offer who's ready to 'get on board.'

TheVolSnake writes:

Our Defensive will be established mid way through the Fall practice, from what I can see off the roster and what is being said though various sites we will have a very good line with lots of options. We will have depth so I expect that Defensive Coordinator Sal Sunseri will do a lot of substitutions though out the game to keep players fresh, and opposing teams off balance.

Last year and even the year before one of our major issues was lack of depth so we were not able to have a lot of substitutions and our Defense just wore down, which was quite evident in the latter part of games.

We have new comers McCullers, Danny O'Brien, Darrington Sentimore and Trent Taylor all will push for major playing time this year if not starting time. Of the four I see McCullers, Danny O'Brien, Darrington Sentimore being impact players on the line, Taylor I think will end up as a LB, but fall but time will tell. Regardless the addition of these four will put the pressure on our other D. Lineman and will make practice a lot more competitive, which in turn will make everyone better.

I didn’t add Dante Phillips into the mix yet because awaiting admissions clearance, some sites have him already cleared but no true official word yet.

frblalack writes:

Pretty decent article! Gotta love Marlin; remember him from Olive Branch High School. He was simply the best! Kid's got a great attitude!

We are going to surprise some SEC pundits who've picked us so low! If Bray can grow up, we'll be SEC East contenders. If we get Bray & a running game, the sky's the limit.

What a great time to be a Tennessee Vol! We're headed back to the top Vol fans, and all the naysayers can just "eat my grits"! I personally hope Coach Dooley retires with 150+ wins at UT!

All Vols - Vol for Life - I Bleed Big Orange - Believe in UT

orangecountyvols writes:

VolSnake,

What you said about the Rat........is it true?
Did the KNS wake up and finally show him the back door?

That's great if true.

Now, KNS. Having said that, why is it that you let the trolls return through the back door once you ban them? Anyway, time for us to get back to the intent of the site and enjoy discussing sports.

TheVolSnake writes:

Thanks for the website and info, I hope it is true.

Can you see Derrick Henry 6’3”, 240 and Davante Bourque 6’3” 200 Pounding the rock and Jalen Reeves-Maybin 6’1”, 200 running around the ends though out the years. If I was king for the day I would use Henry and Bourque as a hybrid fullback and rotate them, Reeves-Maybin as the primary Tailback. Of course this would be in a couple of years not next year.

Bourque this and next year could fill the role of a hybrid fullback.

Now some will say I am crazy saying this but think about it, all three have the ability to be great running backs Henry and Bourque have the size to block and the skill of a tailback. What this would do is keep the opposing defenses guessing on who is going to run the ball and doesn’t hurt our blocking in the backfield. Also from what I understand all have great hands and can catch the ball.

I know don’t count your players before they come but it is fun to dream. By the way we haven’t used our Full backs as running backs in years, but in the past when we did we were very successful.

TheVolSnake writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

VolSnake,

What you said about the Rat........is it true?
Did the KNS wake up and finally show him the back door?

That's great if true.

Now, KNS. Having said that, why is it that you let the trolls return through the back door once you ban them? Anyway, time for us to get back to the intent of the site and enjoy discussing sports.

Yes it is true, the way you can tell is all his original comments have been removed, if you look at this article comments there was a lot of replies to something he said, but when you go up it shows no comment they were replying to.

When KNS bands you they also remove all your comments.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I sure wish I could remember what that comment was. It must have been pretty good to cause one of the trolls to report it as offensive.

VFL_Troll_Patrol 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)

I for one cant wait to see the D. Line in action this year.

When I first heard of Daniel I was excited. I learned of his commit in February (I believe) and I have been so pumped up about the Vols ever since! Then the news about Sal came out and i just lost it! My Facebook page just blew up with all the Posts about it. Plus once I seen a picture of Daniel ........ WOW! Go Vols!

*Im always watching*

We are the Tennessee Volunteers: video

http://www.youtube.com/user/BudrayJef...

volvann writes:

in response to nocleats:

Do it like this!
http://vimeo.com/7455814

Great video!!!!! Thanks for the post.

volvann writes:

in response to nocleats:

Would love to see a Fighting attitude. Kinda like if your gonna play us, be ready for hittin, kickin, eye gougin, spittin, pushing late,piling on,pinching, biting, elbowing, kidney punching dirt tossing,rabbit punchin, throat punching, foot stomping, finger breaking, nasty arsed meaner than heck defense that will have your trainers working overtime and your coaches crying foul. GET MEAN!!!!

Absolutely correct!!!!

NFL to name a few:
Dick Butkus
Conrad Dobler
Jack Tatum
'Mean' Joe Greene
Ellers, Marshall, Page, Larson (purple people eaters from Minnesota Vikings)

Former UT Guys:
Jack 'Hacksaw' Reynolds
Al Wilson
Henderson and Haynesworth side-by-side
Shaun Ellis
Jerrod Mayo

Feel free to add to the list....

Section A, Row 43, Seats 28-29, the hottie next to me is my wife...

volvann writes:

Now go look at this site and its pictures, should be mandatory reading for all Vols...

http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/mea...

Hoops43 writes:

in response to SavTnVol:

" a bunch of no names"..I love it!..that's exactly what I thought about the 1998 bunch and look how they ended up..GBO

No names... 10 of those guys from the defensive side played on Sundays

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