There was plenty of talk during fall camp about the younger playmakers on this football team.
Through two games, there have been plenty of guys stepping up to the challenge, especially at receiver. First-year starter Quinten Dormady has felt like he's had solid play around, even after losing his biggest gun in Jauan Jennings, who is sidelined indefinitely with a wrist injury.
"You want young guys to step up and I think they are doing that," Dormady said after Tennessee's 42-7 win over Indiana State on Saturday.
"I think it's about keeping them in the moment and just do their assignment and not do to much. When you try to do to much, that is when bad things happen. I think they played really well as far as the young guys go tonight."
The steadiest of the young playmakers is sophomore Marquez Callaway, who has three touchdowns and over 150 yards of offense in two games. It's nothing new to him, but it's new to everyone watching.
"I don't really see doing that," Callaway said. "I just go out there and try to make a play. Every time the ball is coming my way, I try to do the best I can and lay it all for Tennessee.
"All of us are playmakers. We all have that attribute. It was a tough loss, but it's also a big opportunity for all of us to play."
Brand-new to the slot position was receiver Brandon Johnson, who hauled in his first-career touchdown catch against Indiana State.
"It felt amazing," Johnson said, who played both slot and outside receiver Saturday. "I give all the glory to God and I've been working for a long time. It's a dream come true and I can't wait to get out there and do it again."
The catch came late in the second quarter when Dormady made a check, and Johnson, still a young product, made the adjustment at the line with him.
"It was a check based on the defense based on the coverages," Johnson said. "They kind of shifted and we saw it, pointed it out and made the correct adjustments. It felt good knowing exactly what I was supposed to do with no mishaps. I was able to go up and get the ball."
And Callaway knows that each young guy in his room is more than capable of doing big things.
"They know more than anybody else that they want to score," Callaway said. "I think if we can get them the ball it's going to be the same results."
After failing to record a handoff against Georgia Tech on Monday night, sophomore tailback Carlin Fils-aime took advantage of his opportunities on Saturday afternoon. The Napes, Florida native had three carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Much like Callaway, Fils-aime always approaches each practice and game with a smile on his face.
"It felt good," Fils-aime said. "I try to stay as happy and as positive as I can. I try to fight through the bad and good. Never try to let anything bring me down. Anyway I can help I will. I told Q that my goal this year is when I'm in to never let a sack happen. When I saw the Will linebacker coming in it was just reaction. When Callaway caught the pass, I tried to hurry down there and celebrate."
All of that happened way after Ty Chandler took the opening kick back 91 yards for a quick score. The true freshman from Nashville has showcased an explosive game in fall camp and he clearly made his impact felt on this day.
"We saw that all preseason camp and we were excited to get him back there," head coach Butch Jones said.
"He's dynamic and can hit it. He has very very good speed. It's more than just him. It's those other ten individuals taking great pride and executing their assignment. It was a great start. We talked about starting fast. He did a great job of hitting it and all other ten guys did a good job as well."