Consistency a key for Coach Pruitt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Tennessee football donned full pads for the fifth practice of fall camp on Wednesday at Haslam Field.

Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt said he is searching for more consistency on both sides of the ball and is looking for players to step up in leadership roles this August.

“One day you see one group have a little bit more success, then the next day the other group,” Pruitt said. “To me, we’re looking for consistency and when things aren’t going the way we want it to go we got to change that. I guess we got to put on more steam. We got to learn to do that. That’s part of creating the character of the team or the character of a certain unit and that starts with leadership, which I think we’ve got plenty of. That’s something we’ve got to do and they’ve got to exercise that a little bit.”

Wood-Anderson Becoming a Leader at Tight End
Senior tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson, who made 10 starts in 11 games last season has already began to standout as one of the leaders. Named to the 2019 Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, Wood-Anderson has impressed Pruitt as he adjusts to new responsibilities.

“Dom doesn’t shy away from [blocking], he is a physical guy,” Pruitt said. “We ask him to do a lot of different things. He’s done a really nice job and been a good leader with that group. We’ve got competition there and we have to find some guys behind him.”

To’o To’o Stands Out
Pruitt has also been happy with some of the youth on the team emphasizing linebacker freshman Henry To’o To’o’s instincts for the game.

“Henry is a guy who things have come real easy to him,” Pruitt said. “He picks things up, can cover, fits the runs, is what you’re looking for in a linebacker. He’s pretty advanced for a young guy at that position. He is capable of being a signal caller. He is a guy who can play all three downs. He goes out there and works every day. He’s a hard-working guy; he’s tough; he’s physical. He’s got to continue to do that and work hard every day.”

Gooden out for Season
Senior defensive lineman Emmit Gooden is out for the season with a right ACL injury. He is expected to return next season. In 2018, Gooden who transferred from Independence Community College, played 12 games with one start, recording 33 tackles. His 7.0 TFL were the third most on the team.

“It’s unfortunate for him and for our football team, but Emmit is a guy that has another year and he’ll continue with going to school and get ready to come back next spring and next fall,” said Pruitt.