KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)— The Tennessee football team resumed practice on Tuesday afternoon at Haslam Field, sparked by competitiveness on both sides of the ball.
UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt specifically cited competition on the offensive and defensive lines as being high points during Tuesday’s practice and throughout the entire spring.
“We are just getting started with competition up there,” Pruitt said. “These guys have to improve every day.
“I think competition makes you better and we need to improve at [defensive line]. We have improved. We have a lot of guys trying to do it the right way. So more opportunities they have to go out there and compete, they will continue to improve and so far they have.”
Seniors Taking on Leadership Role
Even just 10 practices into the spring, Pruitt has already seen the leadership needed from Tennessee’s senior class.
“[The senior class is] a small group, but I think it is a group that has put a lot into the University of Tennessee,” Pruitt said. “I think they represent the University of Tennessee very well.”
The Vols’ senior class is highlighted by offensive weapons Marquez Callaway, Jauan Jennings, Tyler Byrd, Brandon Johnson, Carlin Fils-aime and Dominick Wood-Anderson as well as defenders Nigel Warrior, Emmit Gooden, Darrell Taylor, Daniel Bituli and Baylen Buchanan.
“They are guys that will graduate from here,” Pruitt said. “I think they are hungry. They have worked really hard in the last 18 months and they continue to do that.
“I know these guys are excited with the opportunity when they go to practice and you can see it in the way they practice and the way they prepare.”
Pruitt Expects Physical, Competitive Orange and White Game
Eleven days away from the annual Chevrolet Orange and White spring exhibition, Pruitt expects a competitive game thanks to the increased physicality in practice and last Saturday’s scrimmage.
“We have far more competition this year than we did last spring,” Pruitt said. “We got guys pushing each other every day. It has been a competition every day. We have had winners and losers. So whoever wins, the other team watches them run after practice. I think our guys have competed hard this spring. The other night, I thought the scrimmage was really competitive. I thought it was a lot more physical than it was in the past. I anticipate us improving this week, the next time we go to the stadium. I hope to see us play faster and more physical. We have 11 days until the Orange and White game. And when you put as many fans as we do in our stadium, which will kind of amp our guys up. I think it is a great opportunity.”
The Orange and White Game is set for a 6 p.m. start time on April 13 inside Neyland Stadium. The annual spring game is part of an “All Vol Weekend,” which is scheduled to also feature home events for track and field, women’s tennis, softball and baseball from April 11-14.
“There is going to be a lot of things going on that weekend,” Pruitt said. “I know our players are excited about it and I’m excited about it.
“Spring is a lot of fun.”