Dan Fleser: Veteran Vol Receivers Excel At Orange And White

Saturday, April 13, 2019 - by Dan Fleser
Marquez Calloway hauls in a 52-yard reception in the first half of the 2019 Orange and White game played Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. Calloway's catch set up a score by the White team, who went on to win the contest, 28-10.
Marquez Calloway hauls in a 52-yard reception in the first half of the 2019 Orange and White game played Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. Calloway's catch set up a score by the White team, who went on to win the contest, 28-10.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

KNOXVILLE – When he met with the media more than two weeks ago, Tennessee’s Jim Chaney unwittingly offered a preview of Saturday’s Orange & White Game.

“We are not reinventing the wheel here,” the Vols’ first-year offensive coordinator said then. “Jauan (Jennings), Marquez Callaway, Brandon Johnson and Josh (Palmer) are playing good ball.”

UT’s veteran wide receivers played good ball to conclude spring practice before an announced crowd of 50,967 at Neyland Stadium. Jennings, Callaway and Palmer combined for 10 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns for the White team in its 28-10 victory over the Orange.

They achieved their production within the context of typical spring game that was very basic in its scope.

“They’ve been throwing some crazy stuff at us,” quarterback Jarrett Guarantano said. “So it was very vanilla.”

Jennings, a redshirt senior, had five catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns. He jumpstarted the White’s first scoring drive with a 31-yard catch on a slant route. His best TD catch arguably was in the third quarter when he went up over a defender in the right corner of the end zone to snag a 7-yard pass.

“Last year he had knee surgery and we didn’t know if he was going to be on the team,” UT coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “He’s come a long ways and he has a long ways to go. He has to continue to work on all the little things that have helped him have success in the past.”

Of Callaway’s two catches, one covered 52 yards on a deep throw from Guarantano up the left sideline.

Palmer, who was named the most improved offensive player of the spring by the coaching staff, had three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown. His TD catch, a one-yarder, came in heavy traffic in the back of the end zone. He finished with an impressive 20-yard catch-and-run play in the fourth quarter but took a hard hit on the play and had to be helped to the sideline.

First-year assistant head coach Tee Martin, who works with the wide receivers, praised Palmer earlier in the week for the 6-foot-2 junior’s progress and potential.

“Josh has really improved this spring,” Martin said. “I’m really impressed with where we started 13 practices ago and then where we are right now. I’m really excited about a summer with him, knowing what the potential and capabilities are for a young man like him.”

Thanks to the catches by Palmer and his teammates, the White team's Guarantano received the game’s most valuable player award. The redshirt junior was 19-for-37 passing for 198 yards and four touchdowns.  

As for the defense, inside linebacker Shanon Reid had 10 total tackles (eight solo) and broke up a pass for the Orange.

“He’s a runner and a hitter,” Pruitt said. “When he knows what to do, he has a chance to be successful. … His negatives have been not knowing what to do at times. That’s something he can control and he’s working hard at it.”

Fellow linebacker Daniel Bituli, who was named the most improved defender of the spring by the coaches, lauded Reid for his improvement.

“He’s a hard-working guy who’s eager to learn and get better,” Bituli said.

Defensive back Jaylen McCollough, a freshman early enrollee, intercepted two passes for the White. One came on a nice break on a pass from fellow freshman Brian Maurer. McCollough broke up another pass and had seven tackles.


Chattanooga Area Swim League

Mocs Coaching Caravan Makes Stop In Atlanta

PHOTOS: Red Bank Swimmers Host Cleveland Aqua Tigers


CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Ooltewah 4 0 Stuart Heights 2 1 Signal Mountain 2 1 Dalton 1 3 Catoosa 0 4 ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Athletics Coaches Caravan will be making its second stop on June 19 in Atlanta. Fans have the opportunity to meet and interact with Athletics Director Mark Wharton, football coach ... (click for more)

The Red Bank Gators defeated the Cleveland Aqua Tigers Monday in a CASL swim meet at the Red Bank pool. (click for more)


Sports

Chattanooga Area Swim League

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Ooltewah 4 0 Stuart Heights 2 1 Signal Mountain 2 1 Dalton 1 3 Catoosa 0 4 RED DIVISION Fairyland 3 1 Calhoun 3 1 Country Club 3 1 Red Bank 1 3 Cleveland 0 4 WHITE DIVISION Waterdogs 4 ... (click for more)

Mocs Coaching Caravan Makes Stop In Atlanta

The Chattanooga Athletics Coaches Caravan will be making its second stop on June 19 in Atlanta. Fans have the opportunity to meet and interact with Athletics Director Mark Wharton, football coach Rusty Wright, men's basketball coach Lamont Paris, women's basketball coach Katie Burrows, and softball coach Frank Reed. Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Private ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Police Charge Jason Ansley In Wreck On Main Street In Which 9-Year-Old Boy Was Killed; Going 62 MPH In 35 MPH Zone

Chattanooga Police have arrested 38-year-old Jason Ansley in a June 7 wreck on Main Street in which 9-year-old Liam Haddock was killed and two other family members injured. Police said it was determined that Ansley was traveling 62 mph in a 35 mph zone and he was caught on video running a red light at S. Orchard Knob just prior to the 9:08 p.m. crash. Police said Ansley, who ... (click for more)

Smedley, Bankston Say They Are No Votes On Property Tax Increase

Two County Commission members on Monday told members of the Pachyderm Club that they are no votes on a property tax increase. Sabrena Smedley, who currently chairs the commission, said there are a number of unanswered questions about the school system, including how the latest test scores will turn out and how much in repairs the schools will face under a new study. She said ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why I Support Funding The Proposed Budget

Dear Commissioners of Hamilton County, I attended the District 3 community meeting with Commissioner Greg Martin and School Board Chairman Joe Wingate, who was filling in for District 3 Rep. Joe Smith. Commissioner Martin stated he had not made up his mind on how to vote for the tax increase at that time. He requested thoughtful input on why the citizens of his district wanted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW Needs Big Repairs

The banner headline on Monday morning read, “Gov. Lee, top Republicans celebrate failed UAW bid to unionize Volkswagen,” and that’s the second-worst thing that the headline could have said. The worst, of course, is if the UAW had won, and the Detroit-based union that lost 35,000 members last year would be revived -- breaking a hole into the tight wall of foreign-owned auto assembly ... (click for more)