Rajion Neal now sharing Tennessee's running back role

Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (20) celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (20) celebrates after a touchdown in the third quarter during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Derek Dooley on Vols' first game, the 35-21 win over NC State

Three running backs are listed as co-starters on Tennessee's depth chart, and head coach Derek Dooley said he expects carries to be dictated by game performance.

Rajion Neal, who rushed 22 times for 53 yards in the opener Friday against North Carolina State, is no longer the clear No. 1. He will share the title with Devrin Young and Marlin Lane, who had nine carries for 75 yards Friday.

"Marlin struggled a bit (in camp), and it could have been easy for Marlin to get the mulligrubbs," Dooley said Monday at his weekly press conference. "That's how it is in sports. You just keep sawing wood."

Who will get the most carries on Saturday against Georgia State?

"The most important thing is who's producing on game day," Dooley said.

Offensive guard Zach Fulton was named the SEC's offensive lineman of the week. Dooley said he was nominated by coaches for grading out the highest of any linemen on the team.

Linebacker Herman Lathers is "probable" for Saturday after injuring his shoulder in the opener, Dooley said.

Lathers said he would play on Saturday only if he's able to practice this week.

"We need Herman, we want Herman, but we want a healthy Herman," Lathers said.

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

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 65

AtopTheHill06 writes:

Lathers is probable for Ga. State. This is very good news, but I don't see the reasoning in playing him this game when he is not needed and possibly getting him hurt for UF. Ill trust the coaches, but I don't think playing an injury prone Lathers is smart, especially when he will probably not be needed.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Why is Herman talking in 3rd person? Sounds funny....but Herman needs to take a break this week and get healthy for the grind to come.

voloffaith writes:

in response to AtopTheHill06:

Lathers is probable for Ga. State. This is very good news, but I don't see the reasoning in playing him this game when he is not needed and possibly getting him hurt for UF. Ill trust the coaches, but I don't think playing an injury prone Lathers is smart, especially when he will probably not be needed.

Basically agree ,but don't forget Appalachian St and Michigan at the BigHouse....

kbhgators writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

mountainbrook writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can only give you a 1 out of 10 for your troll post effort. Try harder next time or coach will have no choice but to put your back-up in.

mdvol writes:

Feel free to line up Julio Jones...I mean CP at tailback. Play him like Percy Harvin.

Not sure what happened to Lane during camp but he is clearly our best back.

VOLS over GSU 65 - zip. Start 4-0.
Pandemonium Reigns - Sept 15th.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Life's not fair. Competition Breeds Success. Have you enjoyed your day out of school?

OrangePsyched writes:

Funny, it seems the line was blocking just fine when Lane was running the ball. Maybe it was because he was running North South instead of trying to break everything outside. I like Neal's potential but not sure about his toughness. We need YAC on each play.

Cartersvillevol writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I bet you were so happy getting participation trophies. It's not pee wee football.

Supersayin1 writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DUDE!! STHU!! EPIC FAIL at a TROLL Attempt!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to AtopTheHill06:

Lathers is probable for Ga. State. This is very good news, but I don't see the reasoning in playing him this game when he is not needed and possibly getting him hurt for UF. Ill trust the coaches, but I don't think playing an injury prone Lathers is smart, especially when he will probably not be needed.

My guess is for togetherness of the Def. Team.
Work together, Play together, Win together.
Vols 41 Fl 17

Supersayin1 writes:

I think this may be the best idea for the VOLS, I mean look at bama they run a 2 or 3 back set.

That Freshmen RB #4 hits the holes strait ahead like our RB's should be doing. Lane is the closes to doing that if he doesn't second guess himself, and Neal needs to learn to do the same, and have some trust in the O-line because the holes are there.

But we will clean up up,and will look alot better by the UF game! GO VOLS!

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your moms a joke......
The only one making mistakes was your dad, right before you were born.

Get off this site gator troll.

*Im always watching*
*The curse is lifted*
*Shock the world*

troubleinc writes:

I was at the game Friday, don't know if it looked differently on TV or not, but what I saw was Neal trying to hit a home run on every play and trying to break everything outside. Lane was dropping his pads and trying to explode through the hole. Neal couldn't get outside on NC State's defense, no way in Hades he's gonna get outside on a SEC Defense. Start Lane IMO.

Ironcity writes:

Neal really ran poorly Friday. He was soft and tentative most of the night and avoided contact. Not sure what was up but its good to see the coaches noticed it. Lane was hurt all camp so maybe he just needed to get his legs under him. As for Lathers, he missed so much preseason camp it might be in everyones best interest to get him out their if he can go so he can get familiar with the defense. He along with everyone on defense had a number of mental mishaps in the first half. Its understandable but you can't correct the problems if your never on the field. I think Lathers realizes this and wants to play.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

Your moms a joke......
The only one making mistakes was your dad, right before you were born.

Get off this site gator troll.

*Im always watching*
*The curse is lifted*
*Shock the world*

Oh Yeah! Lets not forget your stupid prediction of the UT vs NC State game.

"Tennessee 27
NC State 24
Tennessee starts strong and NC State almost recovers."

Your just gator bait anyway. XD

Huttdawg100 writes:

I wouldn't play lathers against GSU. We need him to be Al Wilson against Florida.

6972 writes:

in response to mountainbrook:

I can only give you a 1 out of 10 for your troll post effort. Try harder next time or coach will have no choice but to put your back-up in.

Time will tell who is the better back. Maybe DD is looking at Friday's stats:
Lane 9 for 75 average 8.3
Neal 22 for 53 average 2.4
Just might not be fair to give Lane a shot at #1.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is the sadest troll we have ever had on this sight. This one cant be over 10 years old.

laraccoon writes:

Didnt i hear them say the other night Neal had his bench press up to 400 lbs. chit hes strong sounds like he has worked out alot in the off season . Marlin looked great and that did not surprise me at all . Didnt hear much from Young but he was solid last season and cant wait to see him get more touches .I hope they all three continue to play and i wouldnt count Neal out .Nice to be talking about depth for a change.

6972 writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I responded to Mountain Brook and it should have went to kbhgators. My point to him was time will tell who is the better back Maybe DD is looking at Friday's stats.
Lane 9 for 75 yards average 8.3
Neal 22 for 53 yards avergage 2.4
Maybe it would not fair to give Lane a shot at #1.
My apology to Mountain Brook.

bhenry writes:

Anybody want to say nice job to Big Zach. All I read on this site is how the O line doesn't block. Well somebody thinks so! Nice job bigman.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

I wouldn't play lathers against GSU. We need him to be Al Wilson against Florida.

I agree, let Mr. Lathers sit this one out. The coaching staff can use this opportunity to build some depth, even if it's only a small amount. G.B.O.!!!

WhoDat writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Neal was trying to bounce every run outside and getting stuck for losses or no gains, Lane took the ball and followed the blockers where the run was planned to go but then again, you sound like a Troll so am probably wasting my time with this response.

ssgdebity writes:

Just found this on espn.com as they announced the SEC players of the week. Congrat to Zack Fulton however aint no way Lattimore should be player of the week. See the link below for the full list.
http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id...

pingkr62 writes:

in response to bhenry:

Anybody want to say nice job to Big Zach. All I read on this site is how the O line doesn't block. Well somebody thinks so! Nice job bigman.

I would compliment the whole team and coaching staff. The way the team played Friday night was reminiscent of Tennessee football ten years ago. Maybe this team isn't as talented, but they played with determination and fire.That was good to see. G.B.O.!!!

BeRealistic writes:

Let the coaches coach, let the players play,and you so-called experts comment.

pingkr62 writes:

Did anyone hear about the offensive coordinator at The University of Houston? He resigned after the first game. Maybe our know it all Trolls would be interested in applying for the job since they seem to be so friggin' smart!

6972 writes:

does anyone know the gators website address. I'd like to see what the lizard lovers are saying about the head lizard after the nightmare with BG.

pingkr62 writes:

in response to 6972:

does anyone know the gators website address. I'd like to see what the lizard lovers are saying about the head lizard after the nightmare with BG.

My guess would be uglywomen.com.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who is your back-up troll? You just seriously muffed that punt attempt and need to be benched. However, I am not discounting the option of you just being really really stupid. Either way...you are a tool.

CroKev writes:

I think Coach Graham will get Neal fixed in a jiffy.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Lane is the better back right now. Neal is good also but Lane will get the needed short yards while Neal might run sideways and lose yards. Until Neal learns to turn it up most of the time, Lane should be given playing time. Kudos to the offensive line on making holes for the backs. Both of them can make defenses pay. Young needs to focus on returns until the offense gets into better sync. or be used in special situations in the backfield, slot, etc.
As for Lathers, use him sparingly but get others plenty of playing time against GA State. That game needs to be way over by mid-second quarter if not sooner. Good win on Friday night, much more to celebrate than trollisize. If they can improve week by week they will be making noise in the SEC. But first...a game against GA State. GO VOLS!

Tenn64 writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hmmm, kinda think you didn't count the number of times he bounced outside when the play was open and called up the gut. Or maybe you didn't see the heart to hearts CDD had every time he would come to the sideline after a bounce.

Easy to miss if you didn't even watch the game.

BolivrBob writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Neal really ran poorly Friday. He was soft and tentative most of the night and avoided contact. Not sure what was up but its good to see the coaches noticed it. Lane was hurt all camp so maybe he just needed to get his legs under him. As for Lathers, he missed so much preseason camp it might be in everyones best interest to get him out their if he can go so he can get familiar with the defense. He along with everyone on defense had a number of mental mishaps in the first half. Its understandable but you can't correct the problems if your never on the field. I think Lathers realizes this and wants to play.

You could have driven a truck through the hole Lane had on his 45 yd scamper. Neal NEVER had a hole like that. The offensive line still concerns me on running plays. We couldn't power it in on 3rd and goal. Take away Patterson's and Lane's run and we don't have much rushing yardage. Neal WAS tentative but he is still our back and one of our best receivers. I think Dooley is just trying to rattle his cage for motivation, shaking him up some. We will see good things from Rajon before it's all said and done. Still concerned about the offensive line in running situations. We will see much better defensive lines, starting in two weeks. State's defensive line out physicaled us a lot.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Can anyone guess what the former name was for this latest troll, kbhgators? Just curious. Not really important actually, but obviously someone who just joined the GVX, for whatever the reason. Well, we do know the reason.......to stir stuff up in the usual trolls way.

Someone said this is the worst troll ever.
May well turn out to be just that, although there are others as we know. Best guess is shortly this one will be banned. C'mon Jack, once gone.......let em' stay gone.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to 6972:

does anyone know the gators website address. I'd like to see what the lizard lovers are saying about the head lizard after the nightmare with BG.

littlezzsucks.com

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Epic fail!!!

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Why is Herman talking in 3rd person? Sounds funny....but Herman needs to take a break this week and get healthy for the grind to come.

"We need Herman, we want Herman, but we want a healthy Herman," Lathers said.

Actually, Herman wasn't speaking in 3rd person. Evan was quoting Dooley from Dooley's Monday press conference. He just mistakenly attributed the comment to "Lathers" rather than Dooley.

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No Walt sighting. No professionalhandicrapper sighting either. Actually, it's kind of funny looking at the relatively small number of post-game comments on all the articles compared to the pre-game comments: a testament to how many trolls we had on here.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Opie Muschamp has a lot of work to do down in Florida. Watching his coaches show now on television and he won't even sit on set like 90 percent of other coaches and break down the game play by play. Little Opie Muschamp doesn't have Nick Saban privileges yet, he needs to grow up and stop acting like the big baby that he is.

Ironcity writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

You could have driven a truck through the hole Lane had on his 45 yd scamper. Neal NEVER had a hole like that. The offensive line still concerns me on running plays. We couldn't power it in on 3rd and goal. Take away Patterson's and Lane's run and we don't have much rushing yardage. Neal WAS tentative but he is still our back and one of our best receivers. I think Dooley is just trying to rattle his cage for motivation, shaking him up some. We will see good things from Rajon before it's all said and done. Still concerned about the offensive line in running situations. We will see much better defensive lines, starting in two weeks. State's defensive line out physicaled us a lot.

The key is Lane ran to the hole. Neal took 1/2 his carries to the sideline even when a small hole presented itself or he had a chance to bowl someone over. It could be that Neal is still worried about fumbling. Whatever the reason he has to run harder then he did Friday or I think he will see his carries dwindle. One last thing I agree with you about the Oline. We need to be able to get a yard no matter where the RB goes. I think our short conversion rate is something like 33% when we run it. That just isn't acceptable. Especially after a 10 play drive when the dee should be exhausted

roloyo writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

weak...... at best. Yawwwn

Vols20 writes:

This is off the subject, but I want to get something off my chest. The Vols will beat Florida...book it! Ahhhh...I feel much better now.

Snapshot writes:

in response to 6972:

Time will tell who is the better back. Maybe DD is looking at Friday's stats:
Lane 9 for 75 average 8.3
Neal 22 for 53 average 2.4
Just might not be fair to give Lane a shot at #1.

Why would it not be fair to give Lane a shot at number 1 if he out performed his competition, which most people seem to think he did?

arkyvol writes:

i still think mediocrity would be an ambitious goal for dooley, but he sure called it right on neal. i wish you could put lane's guts in neal's body. you'd have an sec quality r.b. for all his desire, lane is still a scatback.

willblitz4bacon writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go away you Obama luv'n troll

iowavol writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Neal really ran poorly Friday. He was soft and tentative most of the night and avoided contact. Not sure what was up but its good to see the coaches noticed it. Lane was hurt all camp so maybe he just needed to get his legs under him. As for Lathers, he missed so much preseason camp it might be in everyones best interest to get him out their if he can go so he can get familiar with the defense. He along with everyone on defense had a number of mental mishaps in the first half. Its understandable but you can't correct the problems if your never on the field. I think Lathers realizes this and wants to play.

Only took a cursory look at the whole board, and noticed BBob made a legitimate rebuttal, but appreciate the fact that you took the high road and posted a real comment rather than comment on stupid posts by trolls. Agree with you that Neal ran poorly (at times). Don't agree that he avoided contact. IMO, he was trying to bust the big play each time he touched the ball. So did Lane at times. All three running backs need to focus on taking what the defense gives them, just at Lane did on his long run. Negative plays are killers - if not for Bray and his plethora of receivers, we would have been in trouble.

As for Lathers, let him play a couple of series and sit him. Let the other guys develop. We need him in the Florida game.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

in response to kbhgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why don't Gator Turds just stay in Florida in t heir own chat rooms, and if you're an ex-Vol employee, then just stayed fired and scram.

rabidvol1998 writes:

Rest Herman Rest. We need Herman to beat Florida. I can play and beat Georgia St.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features