The seniors will be picking their own teams for the Orange and White Game Saturday, including their head coaches. Up for drafting this year are News Sentinel writer Mike Strange and Sports Animal radio host Mickey Dearstone. The best thing about this media-as-celebrity-coach thing is that Derek Dooley managed to work in a subtle jab at John Adams:
"I'm convinced there's a good football coach on the News Sentinel staff. So we're going to keep searching for them."
Adams was last year's News Sentinel coach, and he lost to Jimmy Hyams.
As far as players go, senior Malik Jackson has a plan:
"I want to choose a quarterback first, then my O-line and D-line second," he said. "After that, everything will fall into practice. You've got to get the trenches done first, then everything else will follow."
Yes, Jackson is a lineman, why do you ask?
Speaking of defensive tackles, a little more insight to the switch from Chuck Smith to Lance Thompson, courtesy of Jackson:
"It's a lot different. It's not as fun, but it's cool. We're actually working, getting a lot better," Jackson said. "Last year we kind of played a lot with Chuck because he was so young and he was a first-year coach. But Lance isn't having any of that. It's good for us. He keeps us grounded."
Etceteras. Rule No. Something in Tennessee football: Do not doubt a Reveiz. Prentiss Waggner is one of 42 preseason candidates for the Lott IMPACT Trophy Award given to the best defensive player in the nation. Nice feature on Matt Milton from the TFP. Dooley actually had something nice to say about his team yesterday. Scout and Rivals each had very good exclusives with Dooley, Scout's getting Dooley's thoughts on Erik Ainge and Janzen Jackson and Rivals' getting his argument for why college football needs more coaches.
"I think the coaching staff is really a great group of guys; they are pretty much amazing,'' said Harris, who met with the media Tuesday for the first time since Martin was hired on March 27. "I think people need to give them more respect,'' he said. "Coach Martin, he's tough, and a lot of people don't know that. He's pushing me, not only in these workouts, but as a person, also.''
NBADraft.net projects Harris as the 20th pick to New Orleans, Draftexpress.com has him as the 26th pick to New Jersey, and ESPN says he's the 29th-best player. Scotty Hopson, by the way, ranges from #48 to #60. Harris is, no doubt and as he should, testing the pro waters, but he's working out with the Vols. Hopson is . . . somewhere else, but available by text message.
Congrats to former UT assistant basketball coach Steve Forbes, who's snagged the job at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, FL.