Tennessee football completed its first scrimmage of preseason camp on Tuesday morning in Neyland Stadium as the Volunteers worked multiple situations in nearly 100 plays.
An up-tempo offense was in full effect during the live, full-padded scrimmage that saw sixth-year senior quarterback Hendon Hooker toss multiple touchdowns, including one to tight end Jacob Warren.
“We were able to get a lot of real football, drive for the offense to be able to play with tempo and see how the communication and efficiency of movement between plays (looked),” head coach Josh Heupel said. “Defensively, we were able to get some of that work against tempo. Also, some situational football. Got some third and short, and actually did some overtime work with those guys again today.”
Redshirt senior linebacker Jeremy Banks, coming off a 2021 season in which he ranked second in the SEC with 128 total tackles, continues to have an outstanding offseason and preseason. Banks intercepted a pass on Tuesday against the first-team offense.
“Jeremy Banks had a big pick out in the flat,” Heupel said. “(He) did a really good job reading his keys, and then getting out there extremely quickly. Great with his eyes, made a really nice play, used his hands well on the play as well. Really, I think that was about it for turnovers during the course of the scrimmage.”
Heupel liked what he has seen from the running backs this preseason led by junior Jabari Small and true freshmen Dylan Sampson and Justin Williams-Thomas.
“Jabari did a really good job today, ran extremely well,” Heupel said. “I thought his keys took him to the right cut. He played with great in-and-out and pad level on contact. He probably got close to 25 or 30 reps today. Our young guys got a lot of work, Dylan (Sampson) and Justin (Williams-Thomas). Without going back and watching the tape, really pleased with how they functioned and played.”
Tennessee will be off on Wednesday before going through four consecutive days of practices beginning on Thursday. The second full week of preseason camp culminates with the Volunteers’ second scrimmage on Sunday morning.