Talking Points: Tiny Takes on Tackle, Thomas Tries Guard, and More

Day Two of spring practice is in the books, and Derek Dooley quickly pronounced it a success and moved on to more important things like hitting people:

"We're got to learn a little bit every day, and the cumulative effect over time is going to pay dividends for them," Dooley said. "That’s all a work in progress.

"But it was a good second day, and the more important thing is we’ll have a better feel for our team come Thursday when we put the pads on."

The news generated by the second day focused largely on Tiny Richardson getting his shot on the o-line at tackle and Dallas Thomas being ever the good teammate by being willing to test a move to guard and helping Tiny learn how to protect Tyler Bray's blind side.

Also in the news is what positive benefit of moving to a 3-4 defense might accrue to A.J. Johnson, who is currently penciled in as the starter at weakside LB. A.J.'s excited about it, noting that the scheme appears to be built to allow the linebackers to make more plays, and Dooley is excited about the possibility of having Johnson make the leap from good to great:

"He has a lot of confidence in his abilities," Dooley said. "I don't think the light ever came on schematically (last year), but he's a football player. Good football players find their way to the ball when they're on defense and that's what he does. He has a long way to go in being a good football player, who has been blessed with a lot of ability and then translating that to playing the best he can play.

"But he could be a special player. He could. It's a lot of mental work. You can't just show up and play ball. He can show up, play ball and be good. But he has a chance to be really good. That's going to require a lot of mental work."

Another feature from VolQuest focuses on the fact that the secondary returns seven players with starting experience and eight with significant playing time under the belt. Dooley cautions us not to confuse depth with talent, but it is nice to think that there are 10 to 12 guys competing for five spots.

Links galore after the jump.

FOOTBALL

University of Tennessee Athletics: Football
Neyland: 50 Facts on the 50th Anniversary

VolQuest.com - Video: Dooley talks day two
VOLQuest.com: Complete football, basketball, baseball and recruiting coverage and breaking news of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.

UT's Bray says he's wised up since last season
Tennessee junior quarterback Tyler Bray has the tools to someday be a first-round NFL draft pick. But through two years with the Vols, he’s also sometimes displayed an attitude that could leave him toiling in an arena league at some point.

Tyler Bray says he was ‘kind of dumb’ last year | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports
Ed. - late on this and got some stuff wrong, but it's a national site talking about the Vols, so here it is.

What is the proper stance for a wide receiver? | Smart Football
This topic comes up fairly frequently and — while coaches have many different views on this — I am pretty set in how I think a receiver stance should look. The two most important things in the stance are to (1) get off the line quickly and (2) be balanced enough to deal with press coverage. Some coaches try to use different stances to accomplish this but given how unpredictable defenses can be, I don’t think you can swap stances.

College Football Hunger Games: The Games begin | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports
From the blog Dr. Saturday: Yahoo! Sports

RECRUITING

VolQuest.com - Davis close to 100 percent
Most teams want to see Davis in the summer at their camp, see how he is moving after the injury. Among the schools inquiring regularly are West Virginia, Mississippi State, Ball State, Illinois, Virginia Tech and Tennessee. He plans to visit two of those schools next month.

VolQuest.com - Etling impresses in Dallas
Other schools that are showing interest include Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Cincinnati, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Bowling Green and Etling is interested in exploring those possibilities as well.

VolQuest.com - Baugh still likes Pac-12 team
The four-star tight end said Arizona State will almost definitely receive an official visit. Cal, Florida, Hawaii, Miami, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA and Washington have also offered.

VolQuest.com - McGee hearing from major programs

VolQuest.com - Rivals/VTO Alabama: Sleeper spotlight
Ed. - A bunch of stuff on recruits, not necessarily Tennessee, but was fed to VolQuest, so it gets included.

Tennessee Vols impress Top247 running back on visit
For a while, he didn’t even know he was going there. The Top247 junior running back from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic High School made a bit of a last-minute trip to Knoxville on Monday to attend the Vols’ first spring practice, and he said he came away viewing Tennessee as one of his early favorites. Green, who’s ranked the No. 78 overall prospect in the 2013 class by 247Sports, said Florida State, Florida, Notre Dame and Tennessee currently are at the top of his list.

Coveted '14 RB set to visit
The Vols extended an offer last Friday to a North Carolina back who already owns a handful of BCS offers.

Latham likes Vols' coaching staff
Top-100 two-way lineman Darius Latham of Indianapolis recaps his two-day visit to Tennessee.

BASKETBALL

Kenny Hall reinstated " GoVolsXtra
Tennessee rising senior Kenny Hall has been reinstated to the Vols' men's basketball team after being suspended the final nine games of the season.

BASEBALL

Baseball: Tennessee Vols knock off Mississippi Valley State, 5-2
The Tennessee baseball team rebounded from a pair of losses to Kentucky on Sunday with a 5-2 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Vols get help from Mississippi Valley State, take advantage, 5-2 " GoVolsXtra
For a while, the small ball was just a little too small for Tennessee.

LADY VOLS

"Significant Changes Are on the Way" | The Vol Historian | GoVolsXtra.com
Could we have seen the end of an era in the Lady Vols' loss to Baylor? No one knows for sure, and, more importantly, no one is talking, at least for the record. That's probably a good sign.

Shekinna Stricklen named third-team All-America " GoVolsXtra
Shekinna Stricklen of Tennessee was named to The Associated Press' All-America third team in women's basketball on Tuesday. It marked only the second time since the All-America team was first honored in 1995 that no UT or Connecticut player made either the first or second team (2005-06).

'Finality is more vivid' for Lady Vols' five seniors " GoVolsXtra
Tennessee's seniors were stationed both near and far from each other in the Lady Vols' locker room at the Des Moines Regional. On Monday night, their scattered positioning served to underscore the challenge faced by the returnees, who must close ranks and press on into UT's uncertain women's basketball future.

John Adams: Pat Summitt's role a challenge in recruiting " GoVolsXtra
A challenging season ended for the Tennessee women's basketball program Monday night. The challenges of recruiting loom even larger now. "Instead of selling something, we're having to explain something," UT assistant coach Mickie DeMoss said. "I'll be honest with you. It's difficult. "Do we have a great group of prospects in our basket right now? Absolutely, because they're still attracted to Tennessee. It's just a little bit of the uncertainty that's making them hesitant to commit."

ETCETERAS

Lady Vols Ranked 19th In Newest ITA Polls - Tennessee
The Tennessee Lady Vol tennis team is ranked 19th in the newest ITA National College Tennis Rankings, the governing body released Tuesday.Ironically, UT matched its lowest ranking of the season, dropping to the same slot the Lady Vols...

Ellen Renfroe fires no-hitter despite missing best pitch " GoVolsXtra
Ellen Renfroe's orange headband sparkled as it would any other night in the Lee Stadium lights, and her light blue bow bounced routinely with the release of each 65 mph pitch.

Lady Vols finish third in Hawaii " GoVolsXtra
The Tennessee women's golf team finished third at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic at The Bay Course in Maui, Hawaii.

Happy Birthday - March 27: Justin Coleman, Alicia Manning - Tennessee
On March 27, we wish Happy Birthday to rising sophomore defensive back Justin Coleman and senior women's basketball Alicia Manning. ...

University of Tennessee Athletics: Men's Tennis
With three consecutive victories, the Tennessee Volunteers hopped up eight positions to 16th nationally in the ITA team rankings Tuesday.

FAIL Nation: Feigning an Interest FAIL
epic fail - FAIL Nation: Feigning an Interest FAIL

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