VOLS CONCLUDE SCRIMMAGE WORK; MARTIN OUT ONLY 2-4 WEEKS:
Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer received a favorable diagnosis Tuesday on his injured star pupil, defensive end Ben Martin. A freshman from Cincinnati, Martin was injured in scrimmage play Saturday and underwent an arthroscopic evaluation on his knee Tuesday.
“We got good news on Ben Martin; he does not have an anterior cruciate ligament tear, which is great,” Fulmer said after Tuesday’s brief scrimmage at Neyland Stadium. “He has a bone bruise and will be back in 2-4 weeks. We’re hopeful for two.”
The results helped counter a wrist injury suffered Tuesday by senior tight end Brad Cottam on what could have been a lengthy TD pass from Erik Ainge.
“We’re a little bit concerned,” Fulmer said of the mishap. “He will get an X-ray and hopefully that will be OK.”
Tuesday’s work, viewed by a large crowd of UT students invited to the scrimmage on the day before fall classes begin, was largely about fine-tuning Tennessee’s lineup for California.
“We’re pretty much settled,” Fulmer said. “We can identify 11 on both sides pretty well right now. But the second-team positions, we’re still competing and that probably will continue. We’re a fairly young football team in a lot of places and I’m not saying a young guy can’t continue to get better and pass up an older guy.”
One of those youngsters, wide receiver Ahmad Paige, caught an 88-yard touchdown pass from Nick Stephens for an afternoon highlight. The afternoon’s receiving numbers were pretty balanced, with no one player catching more than two passes.
“We’re still looking for a couple of big-time receivers,” Fulmer said. “I think Denarius Moore (2 catches for 22 yards) has certainly moved himself into that group of guys we can count on. And he gives us a threat.”
Daryl Vereen led all ball-carries with 34 yards on nine attempts, while Arian Foster had seven carries for 30 yards and a touchdown. Turnovers were a problem for the Vols toward the end of Tuesday’s scrimmage, although they were mostly the result of youthful hands.
“We need to hold on to the football better,” Fulmer said. “Sometimes when you have young players, they don’t secure it quite as well as you would like.”
Fulmer liked the return of senior linebacker Ryan Karl, who has missed most of preseason camp with a back injury. Karl returned to full-speed contact only Monday and Tuesday has his first live scrimmage competition.
“Ryan gets us lined up, he’s got an energy about him and he’s pretty fresh, too, because he’s not practiced a lot,” Fulmer said. “But his experience certainly is a plus and he has good ability.”
The Vols have a brief practice Wednesday afternoon before returning to a regular schedule Thursday and Friday. The annual kicking scrimmage wraps up fall camp activities Saturday at Haslam Field.
AINGE FEATURED ON 2007 DAVEY O’BRIEN WATCH LIST:
FORT WORTH, Texas – Tennessee senior Erik Ainge is included on the 2007 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® Watch List featuring 35 of college football’s most talked about quarterbacks. The O’Brien is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and inspires student-athletes to triumph both on and off the field.
“Erik is playing exceptionally,” head coach Phillip Fulmer said of Ainge’s preseason form. “He’s making good decisions, throwing the ball accurately, running the team, managing the clock -- doing the things a senior quarterback ought to do. That’s a real plus, especially when you start going into hostile environments like Cal and Florida.”
The Watch List is based on All-America teams and honorable mentions published in at least six different preseason college football magazines. A candidate must be listed as an All-America quarterback or as a first- or second-team All-American within his conference in at least one publication, or as honorable mention in at least three publications.
The O’Brien requires Selection Committee members to consider the character and leadership qualities of each candidate, in addition to athletic prowess when voting.
“Along with athletic ability, The O’Brien winner must exhibit the same character and moral fiber that Davey O’Brien displayed throughout his life,” Davey O’Brien Foundation executive director Danielle Moorman said. “We challenge Watch List candidates to live up to this fundamental aspect of our award while leading their teams into competition.”
The winner will be announced Dec. 6 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. The recipient will be honored Feb. 18 at the annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
2007 DAVEY O’BRIEN WATCH LIST:
ERIK AINGE, TENNESSEE, SR., John David Booty, Southern California, Sr.; Colt Brennan, Hawaii, Sr.; Brian Brohm, Louisville, Sr.; Shaun Carney, Air Force, Sr.; Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State, Jr.; Chase Clement, Rice, Jr.; Chase Daniel, Missouri, Jr.; Nate Davis, Ball State, Soph.; Dennis Dixon, Oregon, Sr.; Julian Edelman, Kent State, Jr.; Caleb Hanie, Colorado State, Sr.; Martin Hankins, Memphis, Sr.; Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, Jr.; Omar Haugabook, Troy, Sr.; Chad Henne, Michigan, Sr.; Rocky Hinds, UNLV, Jr.; Chase Holbrook, New Mexico St., Jr.; Brian Johnson, Utah, Jr.; Kinsmon Lancaster, Louisiana-Monroe, Jr.; Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, Soph.; Corey Leonard, Arkansas State, Soph.; Nate Longshore, California, Jr.; Colt McCoy, Texas, Soph.; Anthony Morelli, Penn State, Sr.; Curtis Painter, Purdue, Jr.; Matt Ryan, Boston College, Sr.; Jameel Sewell, Virginia, Soph.; Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, Soph.; Paul Smith, Tulsa, Sr.; Matthew Stafford, Georgia, Soph.; Karsten Sween, Wyoming, Soph.; Pat White, West Virginia, Jr.; Justin Willis, Southern Methodist, Soph.; Andre' Woodson, Kentucky, Sr.
TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS:
Offensive Starters: C Michael Frogg, OT Ramon Foster and Eric Young, OG Chris Scott and Anthony Parker, TE Chris Brown and Brad Cottam, WR Austin Rogers and Lucas Taylor, TB Arian Foster, QB Erik Ainge.
Defensive Starters: DE Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds, DT J.T. Mapu and Demonte Bolden, LB Rico McCoy, Jerod Mayo and Ryan Karl, CB Eric Berry and Antonio Gaines, S Jonathan Hefney and Jarod Parrish.
Rushing Leaders (Att.-Yds.-TD): Daryl Vereen 9-34-0, Arian Foster 7-30-1, Lennon Creer 3-13-0, Roy Olasimbo 3-13-0.
Passing Leaders (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds.-TD): Jonathan Crompton 21-9-1-85-0, Erik Ainge 13-8-0-72-0, Nick Stephens 4-3-0-102-1, B.J. Coleman 3-2-0-12-0.
Receiving Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD): Ahmad Paige 2-96-1, Quintin Hancock 2-23-0, Denarius Moore 2-22-0, Josh Briscoe 2-21-0, Chris Brown 2-19-0, Luke Stocker 2-18-0.
Defensive Leaders: Nick Reveiz 5 tackles; Sinclair Cannon 4 tackles, TFL (-2); LaMarcus Thompson 4 tackles, sack (-5); Jonathan Hefney 3 tackles, 2 TFL (-4); Antonio Wardlow 3 tackles; Ricardo Kemp 2 tackles, forced fumble; Dorian Davis 2 tackles, forced fumble; Ryan Karl 2 tackles, PBU; Xavier Mitchell 2 tackles, sack (-10); Ja’Kouri Williams 2 tackles; Dennis Rogan tackle, interception (41 yards), forced fumble; Jerod Mayo tackle, TFL (-1); Wes Brown tackles, TFL (-1); Demonte Bolden tackle, TFL (-1); Chris Walker tackle, PBU.
Punting Leader (No.-Avg.-Long): Chad Cunningham 6-40.3-53.
Field Goal Leader: Daniel Lincoln 6-of-7, long 38.
Injury Holdouts: WR Gerald Jones (hamstring), LB Adam Myers-White (finger), C Josh McNeil (illness), P Britton Colquitt (quad).
Scrimmage Injuries: TE Brad Cottam (wrist).
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information