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August 22, 2013

Quick HiTs: Jones challenges Vols to prepare for 102,455

Stressing his players should relish this afternoon's practice as "getting to play football after two days off," Butch Jones began shifting his Tennessee squad towards its game-week preparations for the season opener Aug. 31 against Austin Peay.

The Vols did early walk-through settings on offense and defense before sliding into some intense special teams and individual work.

Wearing green jerseys were: Johnathon Johnson, Marlin Lane, Pig Howard, Brian Randolph, Justin King, Curt Maggitt and Greg King. Dressed but in the 'black hole' were: Alex Ellis, Corey Vereen, Jacques Smith, Ryan Jenkins and Michael Williams, who was out of the sling on his shoulder. Kicker George Bullock also did some work in the hole.

Appearing as a spectator was Justin Meredith, who was not a part of the team's 105-man roster when camp opened. Meredith was in shorts and a T-shirt.

How detailed is Jones' continued attention to detail? After the kickoff coverage unit was flagged for offsides, Jones told his team "Listen up! This is the only time you're allowed to walk back and collect your breath. Make the officials hurry up."

Most black stripes on freshmen and newcomers were gone, with the scholarship exceptions of Brett Kendrick and Malik Brown. Walk-on punter Trevor Daniel had a black stripe but he also commanded attention with his punts, far outshining Matt Darr. Daniel just joined the Vols this week. Thomas Edwards was the other walk-on still with a black stripe on his helmet.

Jones also continued to coach his rookie wideouts intensely, telling Josh Smith "Come on, Josh. You said you wanted to play as a freshman! You're not playing Will Martinez and Catholic."

Speaking of rookies, Riley Ferguson added a visor to his helmet. Several Vols had a plastic wrapping on the fronts of their helmets as they wore their new lids, without decals, and UT staff worked to keep the helmets unscathed.

Jones also barked to multiple players "If you can't handle me, how are you going to handle 102,455?"

Both Marquez North and Jacob Carter had superlative catches during individuals. North and fellow newcomer Woody Quinn logged some time on field goal block and Hail Mary defense.

VolQuest.com will tweet and post notes immediately following today's post-practice comments --- and will do so each day of camp. Additionally, we will multiple content items this evening leading into War Room, and we'll continue with our weekly podcast and Rocky Top Roundtable features as well. Staff twitter handles are: @VolQuest_Rivals, @VolQuest_Paul, @VolQuest_Rob, @AustinPriceless, @John_BriceVQ and special contributor @GrantRamey.





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