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Vols hold first practice under Josh Heupel

Tennessee holds the first of 15 spring sessions
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:54 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - “We have a lot of really good football players here they’re very prideful and in all reality not excited about what happened to your don’t believe this to be a whole lot better than we necessarily build into is working towards every single day,” said Josh Heupel after his first practice session as UT head football coach.

The new top Vol led his troops onto the indoor facility turf for the first practice of spring on Thursday. Afterwards if he used the word energy once he used it a dozen times to describe the attitude taken into work by his new players, “The energy and effort, the way that they play, we mirror our team sets but the way that they approach their individual students, the way that they took coaching change something from one rep to another rep tells me that there’s a high peer factor.”

There’s no question it’s gonna be a long haul for Heupel and staff, but he says his team is gonna get there and that Tennessee is a place where you can do special things, ”I got a note full of things that we got to correct as players and coaches and sports to have for the next practice to get those things right energy right had to football team. It’s a lot of fun to coach that type of group.”

Coach Heupel also mentioned Thursday that freshman quarterback Kaiden Salter is suspended indefinitely. Salter is the fourth player that was involved in the incident at Stokely Hall in early March.

Thursday session was the first of 15 spring drills for the Tennessee football team which will include the April 24th Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium at 4:00 p.m.

Inclement weather pushed the first practice indoors, just hours after four Vols shined at Pro Day in front of dozens of NFL scouts and personnel representing nearly every league squad. Tennessee spent Thursday working on all three phases and implementing its new terminology.”There’s so much time and energy and work that leads up to those moments where you get an opportunity to truly go out and compete the way you want to as a full team,” Heupel said. “It’s exciting. I’ve got notes full of things that we’ve got to correct as players, coaches and support staff for the next practice, but I love the energy and effort. If you get those things from your players -- great energy, great attitudes -- then you become a tough football team.”

Heupel, who has developed multiple NFL quarterbacks in his career, is seeking to get the most out of his quarterback roster that includes sophomore Harrison Bailey, graduate transfer Hendon Hooker and redshirt sophomore Brian Maurer this spring.”We used the code word attack,” Heupel said. “That’s a big part of who we are inside of our building. At the quarterback position in particular, I thought they handled the tempo portion of some of our team sets extremely well and handled the communication piece of it. They played within themselves. They made some mistakes out there, but they did a lot of really positive things too. The thing that we’ve challenged our guys on is ‘Don’t make the same mistake twice. Be coachable. Accept the coaching in a positive way.”

The Vols’ second practice of the spring is scheduled for Saturday morning.Season tickets for the 100th year of Neyland Stadium and the start of the Heupel era are on sale now at AllVols.com.  Season tickets start as low as $300, with the Vol Pass and payment plan options offered. Fans can experience the Neyland Stadium 3D map to select tickets based on preference. Fans with questions related to seats, views and options can utilize the live “CHAT” feature on AllVols.com.

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