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a guest Aug 17th, 2019 122 Never
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  1. Overall Atmosphere: The overall atmosphere was pretty pumped up, no there was no mics or ©rap music blaring because that would interfere with the work to be done…It was all about Ball!! and not BS. The practice was completely organized and not a second was wasted. If you weren’t a 1 or a 2 you were on the other field getting tons of reps with GA’s and other coaches. Very impressive how they were maximizing reps for guys, zero standing around, attention to detail and intense instruction. The support staff was super cool and very engaging, very welcoming and the family atmosphere every recruit talks about was in the air. Great practice environment and I’ve been to practice under every coach here since Fulmer…Kiffin was a lot of yelling and craziness, Dooley was like watching paint dry and BJ was a complete circus, very cheesy. Pruitt’s practice was so focused on the hard work and some serious coaching. Cheany was very demonstrative and brutally honest. As coaches do, he was at times going berserk, he really challenged his guys and every time they responded. One ST rep a freshman DB wasn’t sure where he was supposed to line up and Pruitt got in his ear pretty good and pulled him out of the rep with Tyler Byrd racing off the sideline saying I’ll do it coach, tell what to do and then he did as he was instructed and blew down there to cover the kick…Pretty impressive for a guy who’s career hasn’t panned out…it’s obvious he feels the urgency, cool to see. Overall I was seriously impressed with their coaching abilities.
  2. Once JG finished his reps with the 1’s and he walked off the field and Pruitt went up to him and challenged him that hey, don’t be standing over here alone, go communicate with your guys like you would in the game…JG took it to heart and he absolutely was on fire from then on…again, older guys taking coaching and applying it was impressive. Met Curt Maggit, he was so happy to have been accepted into the MBA program and such a nice guy, he will be a super successful guy, very impressive.
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  5. On to the team and individual guys:
  6. Offense: QB: JG is impressive looking these days, so much bigger than he’s ever been, he was on target with some really beautiful passes and especially on the move both left and right. He was in total command at the line and not sure CJC ever really had to get on him for his performance, only yelling at him to run the damn play when the D was subbing..."don't wait on them to get set, run the damn play". In warmups that Hubbs and crew got to see I would have pulled JT Shrout’s scholly, then they started with live reps and wow that kid has what it takes, was very vocal with his guys, throws with velocity and has great touch…He was all over the line, backs and WR’s if they had a bust (remember he was working with the 2’s), had no issue leading his team and threw some absolute darts across the middle and out wide down the field. He too was very effective on the run. Mauer was on the other field getting reps with the walk-ons and less experienced TE’s and WR’s…He looked great in warmups, he throws a great ball and he too was very vocal but didn’t get to see him vs the 1’s or 2’s so not much else to say other than he’s built solidly and a pretty big guy. Look for a big year from JG.
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  8. RB: Eric Gray is for real, the guy has some serious burst but more than anything he has great feet and vision. He made some cuts that were just straight up next level. He caught the ball effortlessly and in space he is going to be a load to handle. Very excited to see how many ways CJC deploys his skill set. Be excited Vol fans, he’s going to be great. Also, as a guy who came in as a smaller guy or so I thought, he’s not, he is very solidly built. He is especially a lot bigger in his lower body that I thought he’d be and wasn't afraid to run between the tackles in the chances he got...No Fear.
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  10. Ty Chandler is the truth, he is so much better built this year, he is a tougher inside runner than he ever was LY…He is a bigger version of Gray, I must disagree with Jesse, he does have the burst and wiggle needed to play at a high level. He too will be so dangerous in space, he and Gray on the field at the same time will give DC’s heartburn in this league. That’s a ton of speed in space that should only help the line look better and raise JG’s completion percentage.
  11. Jordan is a lot bigger and more rocked up than LY, he will be a tough short yardage runner and very solid in pass pro. Banks looks good and he is a really well built back who will be a very effective one cut and go guy. I expect him to overtake Jordan at some point during the season. Great competition in that group and it’s obvious they love coach Johnson.
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  13. WR: Where to start, JJ is completely healthy, dude ran some 9 routes that were NFL level…He missed a beautiful ball from JG when he rolled right, prettiest pass of the day and JG challenged him to catch the ball, to his credit JJ came over and they started discussing the play with JJ walking away complimenting JG and said I won’t miss that again…Some of JG’s best leadership on the day, good to see two older guys challenging each other to be their best…Good to see. Calloway is going to have a monster year, dude is ripped up and he was jumping out of the gym on some high throws, high pointed the ball and snatched it out of the air like a pro. Those two are going to have massive seasons, especially when Ty and Gray are on the field together, too much firepower.
  14. Palmer has a perfect build for a wideout, ran some precise routes and caught everything, high pointing it and never letting it get into his body, very impressive, 3 wideout sets with JJ in the slot is gonna be damn good. Johnson, Murphy and even Byrd had some really impressive catches and all three blocked like mad. This group is going to be deep, Tillman also made an amazing catch on a ball thrown too high by JT over two defenders, damn impressive. Special note here, we have a walk-on, Isaiah Montgomery #22 who is going to be a stud, he made the best catch of the day deep down the right sideline fade from Mauer over two DB’s, an absolute NFL looking play. He’s well-built and everyone I spoke to said to keep an eye on him and he did not disappoint at all. He’ll be on scholly sooner rather than later. As most fans I love an underdog who nobody knows about yet, he had some offers for a full ride but chose to come here instead from Atlanta, GA. I’m sure he’ll RS this year but he will be in the rotation in coming years.
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  16. TE: This will be quick, DWA has an NFL body and he looked far more comfortable than at any point LY. He was lined up all over and he turned in a very consistant day all around including blocking as he cracked an end on one run that was sweet, planted an ear hole shot, great to see. Pope is #2 and he looked good, hope he can stay healthy, he’s got the ability to run, catch and really block in-line. The two frosh got a few reps but mainly as blockers only. Both are big and I mean big…Andrew Craig is also another big guy who will help in the run game TY. The guy who was impressive was Jacob Warren, that guy still needs some more muscle but he is going to be in line for a lot of reps TY and into the future. Long ass arms, big hands, catches everything, willing blocker and split out he is a mismatch. Very excited about this group, much like DL a lot of big, good looking athletes there just not a ton of experience.
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  18. OL: The 800lb Gorilla in the room…Still not sure this group has the nasty it needs, on a positive note, these guys are large men. I’ll go left to right…Wanya has everything you want but you can tell that he needs a ton of work at this level, not a surprise. He faded late in practice and lost all technique and got exposed at this level…He needs to pick it up if he’s gonna beat out Jamir. Speaking of JJ, he is a lot bigger than LY but damn that guy still needs some girth, built like a DE not and OT. His athletic ability is unquestioned and he can move with those top notch pass rushers. Carvin worked a ton at LG and he really plays with good leverage, has good feet and delivers a blow. His pass pro is much better, kept his balance and stayed low but again needs a ton of reps in game and practice. The talent is there tho. They did rotate a lot of guys all over the line but he took most of the reps there. If Trey plays LG, Carvin will be the next guy up I believe. Kennedy and Ryan Johnson took the majority pf reps at center with BK taking the most. BK is exactly what yer looking for at C, solid build and anchor. He put his RS year to good use and has a massive lower half but his upper body is just as impressive. If he stays healthy, he is going to have a great year. Made calls effortlessly and recognized the fronts…He and JG worked well together, exactly what you need there. He needs to play every game as RJ is okay but there’s a drop off. Carvin played C as well and I think that’s his long term spot, he’s definitely the 6th guy. Calbert is huge and has some nasty to him, run blocking will be his strength and his pass pro was good for a guy who doesn’t have a ton of football experience at all. He played with great lean and leverage. Tatum looks good guys, he played very physical and I didn't see any of the lack of aggression from LY at times. He bends and plays lower than I ever saw him LY, he was one of the most impressive guys out there.
  19. Wright missed an opportunity not coming in at mid-term, he needs work on his physique and consistent effort. He simply missed on a bunch of reps and not because he doesn’t have the talent just doesn’t understand the urgency it takes at this level just like Wanya. They both have a ways to go to be as good as their rankings. Both have the build and can’t wait to see them after a year with coach Fitz. As juniors or seniors they will be dominant but right now they are not there…no shame in that, too bad we’re not in a spot to let them marinate. As for Wanya, he might start but I’ll bet it’ll be more of a challenge than fans or he expects. I say be patient with both of them, they will eventually be dominant. The walk-on Abercrombie took a lot of reps with the 2's and he is very large and pretty impressive with his punch and footwork. He’s another guy who will be on ship before it’s all said and done. As for coach Friend, not sure what I think about him, he seems very good at teaching but the fire I like to see from that position is not there. CJC was all over the OL the entire time, yelling, cussing, challenging and encouraging the entire time like an OL coach should. He is very demanding but his guys love him, so does Pruitt…Such respect for him and his abilities…personally I hope he figures he needs to drop some LBS because I’m greedy and want him here for a long time. Overall, a lot bigger, more aggressive but not near nasty enough, I hope that they become a physical line over the course of the season. That’s a 7-8 win OL, they need Trey to play because he has that mauler mentality and he would push those guys as needed.
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