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April 5, 2014

HiTs: Who shined with students, coaches looking on?

With several hundred Tennessee students on hand, as well as approximately 200 faculty members and dozens of high school coaches still on hand from this weekend's clinic, the Vols scrimmaged and worked a variety of individual battles inside Neyland Stadium Saturday morning and afternoon.

Head coach Butch Jones, admittedly and eagerly challenging the physicality and mindset of his team, initiated a variety of one-on-one battles on the field in front of the Tennessee student section "to see what they're made of."

Kyler Kerbyson, Dimarya Mixon, Kendall Vickers and Von Pearson all had decisive victories. Jakob Johnson also had a big win in the circle-of-life showdowns. Arguably the loudest cheers came when Curt Maggitt battled A.J. Johnson to a physical, but brief, draw.

A.J. Johnson ultimately got the most extensive action of his spring to date, and Tennessee's defense over the course of the day looked better for it. It also allowed the continued work of Jakob Johnson at defensive end.

Whether it was wind or a combination of breakdowns on various plays, the Vols' quarterbacks were not very sharp for much of the scrimmage work. Riley Ferguson tossed an early interception, and Josh Dobbs was tackled behind the line, including a third-down sack in which he held the ball entirely too long, during some goal-line work.

Justin Worley continued to have the smoothest quarterback operation of the offense, and he also had a couple of scoring tosses.

Devrin Young had a strong scrimmage, maximizing opportunities particularly on screen passes and plays around end. Young had a touchdown around right end after taking the handoff, easily cruising into the end zone.

Malik Foreman had a pick while Justin Coleman, despite a green jersey, broke up a pass and later made a couple of strong open-field tackles.

Kyler Kerbyson, during some offense-defense battles with points on the line for the coaches' modified scoring system, dominated Owen Williams during a pass-rush set.

Jalen Hurd ran well at times but also fumbled for the second-straight practice session. His lost fumble on this day came near the goal line and was termed "catastrophic" by Jones.

Cody Blanc made a couple of strong catches, including a late score off the arm of Worley.

Jordan Williams showed up well along an improved defensive line, which also got some quality plays from LaTroy Lewis and Dimarya Mixon.

Josh Smith caught a long touchdown pass from Ferguson late down the right sideline. Von Pearson had scored on an electrifying end-around but a holding penalty whistled against Alex Ellis negated the play.

Safeties Devaun Swafford and Geraldo Orta did not scrimmage, nor did Austin Sanders. Coleman and Max Arnold were the only players in green jerseys.

Tennessee had several visitors in for the scrimmage and some that had already left town in the morning that were in Knoxville on Friday.

Brian Cole left town Saturday morning after spending Friday in Knoxville checking out the Vols.

in town for the scrimmage were four-star defensive end , offensive line commitment Zach Stewart, 2016 running back Tre Harbison, 2016 linebacker David Reese.

VolQuest.com will provide daily Quick HiTs from each of the Vols' spring practices. Additionally, we'll have in-depth videos, stories and analysis as well as updates on the message board and via staff twitter handles, which are as follows: @Brent_Hubbs; @VolQuest_Paul; @John_BriceVQ; @GrantRamey; VolQuest_Rob; and @VolQuest_Rivals.

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