UT coach Butch Jones leaving door open for Marlin Lane's return

Suspended Tennessee running back Marlin Lane was absent for the third consecutive practice and fourth since players returned from spring break, but coach Butch Jones continued to leave the door open for his return.

Jones said Wednesday there were “criteria” that Lane needed to meet to be reinstated.

Fellow running back Rajion Neal said he speaks to Lane regularly. Lane was back in Knoxville but contending with a “sensitive situation,” Neal said.

Neal said he expected and “hoped and prayed” that Lane would eventually return to the team.

***

Jones said there are no immediate plans to move anyone else to running back, including Devrin Young, who was moved to receiver this spring.

“We’re going to go with the running backs we have,” Jones said.

For his part, Young said, “I’m comfortable at receiver, I’m comfortable in the backfield, so it’s whatever Coach Jones wants.”

***

Jones wasn’t entirely satisfied with what likely was the final practice at Haslam Field on Wednesday. After a sloppy team period, Jones yelled, “Let’s get better at this!” Then, dissatisfied with the way players ran to the next station, he called the entire team to the middle of the field for some choice words.

“I thought we were a little rusty,” Jones said afterward. “We need to finish (spring practice) with a mindset of physicality.”

***

Jones was asked who had impressed him this spring. Here’s his list: running backs Alden Hill and Rajion Neal; linebacker Dontavis Sapp; defensive back Justin Coleman; offensive linemen James Stone, Zach Fulton and Ja’Wuan James; and quarterbacks Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman.

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“The Hole” — the roped-off area of the practice field for injured players — was especially crowded on Wednesday with the additions of cornerback Riyahd Jones and defensive lineman Daniel Hood. Receiver Vincent Dallas, who had missed the last week, was back in action.

***

A drone camera hovered over the sidelines during practice, apparently going through some testing with its operator nearby.

Jones said it was another “teaching tool” that would help with film study by getting a birds-eye view of the practice field.

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The best catch of the day, perhaps surprisingly, was by big walk-on tight end Charles Folger, who made a leaping grab and held onto the ball despite taking a hard hit.

***

Former quarterback Tyler Bray’s session with Jon Gruden on ESPN’s “quarterback camp” feature will air Friday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Gruden has hinted at some of his evaluation, saying in a conference call this week that Bray has natural physical gifts but needs “refinement.”

“I just think this kid has a rare ability to throw the football,” Gruden said. “A lot of what he did at Tennessee, I think, is overshadowed (by) their win-loss record. They scored 35 points in Columbia. They scored 44 points in Athens. They scored 48 points against Missouri. So moving the football was not a problem at Tennessee.”

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

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 8

givehim6 writes:

Mmakes me wonder if Hurd comming in nex year has something to do with Lane's behavior?

RealisticVol writes:

"The best catch of the day, perhaps surprisingly, was by big walk-on tight end Charles Folger, who made a leaping grab and held onto the ball despite taking a hard hit."
There is a big lesson in that. A walk on made the play of the day through effort and determination. Talent is worthless without those attributes.

papavol writes:

in response to givehim6:

Mmakes me wonder if Hurd comming in nex year has something to do with Lane's behavior?

It's not like Hurd is coming in this season or something. There should be no reason that he isn't trying to better himself in every way possible so he can be a starting back in the SEC and potentially play in the next level. Such a huge opportunity he's wasting because he would not have this chance at most other schools in the SEC.

RealisticVol writes:

Maybe starting under Dooley, he imprinted on Dooley's arrogance and entitled attitude and thinks it will just happen because he is so superior.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to RealisticVol:

Maybe starting under Dooley, he imprinted on Dooley's arrogance and entitled attitude and thinks it will just happen because he is so superior.

Maybe your own sense of superiority blinds you to the fact that 'real' people have 'real' lives outside of football.

Could it be your own arrogance that causes an ignorant attitude toward Derek Dooley and the devoted hours of work he put in at UT?

I guess you are entitled to your own opinion, but please...

Get Real, Vol.

StoneJackBaller writes:

I think we should seriously look at bringing in JUCO RB Michael Dyer. You all remember him. RB at Auburn when they won the NC. I heard he is making excellent grades in the JUCO and his attitude has changed. Might be worth a shot, cause he's a helluva RB and we need depth.

Mboroalum writes:

Gruden?? H'mm. Where have I heard that name?????

CroKev writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

I think we should seriously look at bringing in JUCO RB Michael Dyer. You all remember him. RB at Auburn when they won the NC. I heard he is making excellent grades in the JUCO and his attitude has changed. Might be worth a shot, cause he's a helluva RB and we need depth.

As long as he leaves "the heat" at home and doesn't do anything to upset the current comaraderie on this team...

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