Lightning and heavy rains forced the Vols indoors to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center after a hot and muggy start at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The same thing happened exactly one year ago, but there were good vibes all around despite the weather as UT took its initial steps of the fall campaign.
"I was really pleased with the first day of practice and the way the kids went about it and the coaches went about it," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I think the effort certainly was there and there are some young guys that look like they are going to push themselves pretty quickly into the mix."
Nineteen freshman signees joined three junior-college transfers making their UT practice debuts.
"We got a lot of looks, a lot of fundamental work done," Fulmer said. "As I always say after this practice, football is a game that is played in pads. We've got to get into pads and see where we are."
The Vols hold their annual Media Day on Saturday morning before returning to the practice field for a second day in just helmets and shorts. Sunday's practice is the first of two dates in shoulder pads, with Tuesday scheduled as the first day in full pads.
"I'm expecting us to pick up where we left off in spring practice and I think we took a step in that direction today," Fulmer said. "We're throwing a lot at them and it's hard for the freshmen. I congratulated them on making it through their first college football practice and said, "This is easy." They all kind of dropped their head a little bit but we're ahead of the game."
Tennessee has 22 more practice sessions, including three official scrimmages, slated through Aug. 25 before heading into game week preparations. UT opens its 2007 playing season Sept. 1 at California.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information