Vols Stage Final Spring Practice; Orange And White Game Saturday

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee football team practiced for the final time this spring at Neyland Stadium on Thursday. The Vols' spring session culminates Saturday with their second Dish Network Orange and White Game under head coach Derek Dooley.

The annual spring game, which takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium, isn't necessarily a barometer of how good the team is, but it does allow the opportunity for some Vols to stand out. One Vol who took advantage of that chance in last spring's Orange and White Game was quarterback Tyler Bray.

"The first time I kind of noticed some qualities in him was in the scrimmage setting," Dooley said. "Some guys just elevate a little bit and he did it in the scrimmage. I don't try to put too much stock in the Orange and White game because so many variables but it was good to see him. It's one of those deals where if a guy plays real well you get really excited and if he doesn't play well you go, `It's no big deal.' You try to have it both ways as a coach. Otherwise, you'll have nightmares all through the offseason."

One Vol who may be in that position Saturday is sophomore fullback Channing Fugate, who rushed for more than 3,000 yards as a junior at Breathitt County High School. Although the Jackson, Ky., native didn't get any carries as a freshman in 2010, the Vols are making a concerted effort to involve him more in the offense going forward.

"We're going to give him the ball," Dooley said. "I think he's going to play a big role in our offense. Guys who have that many yards have excellent instincts. There's never been a running back who can rush for that many yards and not understand the tone and see things that other guys can't see. He has great instincts and he's a heavy body, very good balance when he runs the ball. You can see why he was so productive in high school."

WILLIE WATCH

Junior Willie Bohannon, who will start at defensive end for the Orange team Saturday, is making the most of his opportunity this spring. Bohannon, who shared Tennessee's 2010 John Stucky Off-Season Award, an annual coaching staff-given honor each spring, is having another productive April this year.

"He never really was much of a threat (to reach the quarterback) but he's becoming a threat," Dooley said. "That's what this spring is doing for him. I'm really pleased with the way he has progressed and we hope he can kind of take it from here with a good summer and we'll see where he is in August."

Despite being undersized for a defensive lineman at 6-foot-2 and 251 pounds, Bohannon has been productive.

"He's playing technique a lot better, but Willie has good leverage," Dooley said. "Some guys are little, but they play with good leverage. He's a little guy but he really knows how to use his strength. He understands leverage so he plays a lot stronger than what his body type is."

QUICK HITS

-To purchase tickets for Saturday's Dish Network Orange and White Game, fans can call 865-656-1200 or follow this link: http://bit.ly/hOCG2j

-The Vols will be without defensive end Jacques Smith (foot) Saturday. The extent of his injury is unknown but he is expected to be ready to go when summer workouts begin in June.

-For complete information on all of Saturday's events surrounding the Orange and White Game, including rosters, visit this link: http://bit.ly/eiI8WJ

-For Orange and White Game updates and all things Tennessee Football, follow the official Twitter account: @Vol_Football

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


PHOTOS: Baylor Shades Silverdale In Softball, 4-2

Boyd-Buchanan Soccer Stays Unbeaten With Win Over McCallie

The atmosphere on and around the Boyd-Buchanan soccer field Tuesday night resembled that of a high-stakes postseason match, but neither titles nor elimination were on the line in the Buccaneers’ non-conference, regular-season finale against McCallie. What the Bucs were playing for, however, was an opportunity to finish an unbeaten regular season, a feat they accomplished ... (click for more)

Kevin Muhammad Says City Programs Failing; More Attention And Funding Needed For Impoverished Inner City Youths

Nation of Islam leader Kevin Muhammad told a packed house at City Council on Tuesday night that a large segment of Chattanooga is impoverished, while parts of the city are enjoying a Renaissance. Given 20 minutes for a "State of the People" address, he said many city programs are failing, including the Violence Reduction Initiative and a Youth and Family Services reading program. ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)