Rocky Top Recap: Gator Bowl Day Two

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WVLT) -- The Vols got their second day of Gator Bowl practice in at the University of North Florida Monday evening after a few other fun activities earlier in the day.

Tennessee football practices in Jacksonville as they prepare for the Gator Bowl. / Source: (WVLT)

For the WVLT Sports team, it all began for with a trip back to the Gator Bowl in the morning to visit with legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross. J.R. is bringing in a big wrestling event the day before the Vols take the field against Indiana.

”Daily's Place is right next to the stadium - same parking, same grounds. So the suggestion is we're doing our live program at 8 p.m. on TNT so we're inviting all the Volunteer fans, spend your $20 and add one more night of fun to your Jacksonville trip," said Ross.

From there it was off to Naval Station Mayport where players got a chance to take in a real-life experience that's usually reserved for those in public service.

”It was great, especially the ships that we went on. You see them a lot in movies but to see them in person was different. The controls, the power stations the gun stations where they drive the ship - it was great," said junior wide receiver Josh Palmer.

From there it was off to the second day of practice in Florida as the Vols continue to get ready for Indiana.

The WVLT Sports team caught up with a couple of guys who know a thing or two about Tennessee football.

”It really is [great to be here], the guys have worked hard and it’s been fun to watch them practice a little bit today and they’re excited about the game," said Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer.

”Well I am happy to have them here. It’s wonderful - we have about 19 people in my family coming to the game so it’s very expensive for me to be out here," said former coach and athletic director Doug Dickey.

Finally Monday around the dinner hour it was the players giving back to the Northeast Florida community.

Each team’s players stuffed bags of food for school children in Jacksonville area who are at risk of hunger on the weekends. The bags included non-perishable food and an inspirational note from players and coaches.


The Vols are practicing at the University of Florida. On the first day of practice, the Vols appeared to be a bit laid back, but they still have the game in mind and have enjoyed getting the chance to recover and get their strength back.

On Monday, the WVLT Sports team spoke to QB Jarrett Guarantano, who had been wearing a brace on his left hand, who said, "It [his hand] feels a lot better, a lot more mobile."

Practices "actually get the whole team better" he said and added that the team hoped for a "W."

The Vols have been able to win the past couple times the team has been in Florida.

Besides practice, the Vols got to eat at the Mayport naval base and were able to tour two ships, the U.S.S. Billings and the U.S.S. Indianapolis. They also got to live up to the name "Volunteers" by giving back to hungry school children in Florida.

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