KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With the final scrimmage of fall camp completed on Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said he is pleased with the Vols’ team speed and is a step closer to naming UT’s returners for the season-opener.
Excited by several components of play throughout fall camp, Pruitt expects his Volunteers to get down the field and ball hawk a bit sooner this season. Pruitt has also been pleased with the special teams as a whole.
“We really have more speed on our team this year,” Pruitt said. “That has enabled us to create some depth on special teams. I feel like our kickers have continued to kick the ball extremely well in camp. We are much closer to figuring out who our return guys are going to be.
“You know we got a lot of really good work out there today. With the one’s, twos’, and three’s. Lots of competition.”
The Vols are two weeks away from their season and home opener against Georgia State and as the days count down the focus will start to shift to game-week preparations and focusing on upcoming opponents later this week.
“Game-week prep we’ll probably start on Thursday,” Pruitt said. “Throughout fall ball we’ve worked on some component of an opponent we play.”
Inky Johnson Energy
Notable Vol alum Inky Johnson, who is now a recognized motivational speaker, returned to Rocky Top on Friday to address the current team.
Johnson, who’s playing career ended with a life-threatening injury on the playing field in 2006, found a way to turn a tragedy into purpose – motivating and helping others.
He shared his story with his beloved Vols and Pruitt said he noticed the difference in Saturday’s practice.
“I felt like the effort to start practice was much improved,” Pruitt said. “We had a speaker last night, Inky (Johnson) spoke, I’ve heard him speak before and he did a fantastic job. He talked about what it meant for him to be at Tennessee. The message he shared with the players is right on track with what we’ve been talking about since we’ve been here. There was definitely much more energy. So my question is do we have to go get Inky before we go out there and practice every day? But there was more energy to start practice so that was positive.”