I hope that Daniel McCullers can play, because writing about him for the next couple of years is going to be a lot of fun. Just a few short weeks ago, all we really knew about McCullers was that he was big. Well, big doesn't really get to it. He's 6'6" and somewhere between 360 and 400 pounds. That's about two DBs. And yeah, we all had twitchy flashbacks of Alabama's Terrence Cody jiggling his way down the field helmetless after killing our dreams against the Tide a few years ago, but looking at McCullers' picture, he looks more like a basketball player than a gelatinous ellipse.
Anyway, word is that a certain hit on new RB Davante Bourque was straight out of a movie, and some teammates have joked that it contributed to Bourque's decision to head home. That's probably not fair to Bourque, who simply has some issues (more on him later), but the hit was apparently just a simple clothesline that gave Bourque whiplash. McCullers says in this terrific article ($) from 247 that he's used to hearing "that sound" when he tackles and lands on people.
So when he broke through the o-line during a recent practice before RB Devrin Young, the smallest player on UT's offense, could get started, the situation looked dire.
"I was just standing there thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s gonna break Devrin,’" junior nose tackle Daniel Hood said. "I thought Big Dan might fall on him and kill him."
Instead, McCullers eased up and gave Young a hug. Young was grateful, and when he thanked him, McCullers just "giggled" and walked off.
"We need him," McCullers explained.
Giggling giants crack me up.
So yeah, let's hope that he can play consistently well and wreak havoc in opponent's back fields.
More Talking Points after the jump.
The thing with Bourque is a little mysterious. It appears that he just got homesick and missed his girlfriend and child, but his father was quoted in the paper saying that part of the problem was some "broken promises." He refused to elaborate, which makes me believe that the promise was probably nothing more than to have an opportunity to compete. You could see how interpretations of that kind of thing would vary. Anyway, he appears to be gone from the team for good. Best wishes to him.
Backup QB Justin Worley appears not to have any hard feelings about his scorched redshirt, saying that the experience of actually playing against another team helped his confidence. Good thing, too. Did you realize that we've had the same starting QB start to finish only three of the past eight seasons? Foul! So the team faked an ankle injury to Tyler Bray during the last scrimmage and had Worley take over with the ones. He did fine.
By the way, we do recommend a subscription to Tennessee's 247 site. The "Quote Confidential" section of Monday's VIP room alone is worth the price.
Justin Hunter appears to be all go.
Cornerback Naz Oliver has healthy approach " GoVolsXtra
For the first time in his college career, Tennessee cornerback Naz Oliver is healthy, in top shape, trusted by his coaches and in line for meaningful playing time. Which is why Aug. 31 can't get here fast enough. Oliver has never before been at such an important point in his bumpy, injury-riddled career, and he's hoping that the bad luck that has bedeviled him in the past will stay away for 11 more days. "It's just exciting for me right now," Oliver said. "I'm just going to keep praying that I don't get hurt again and no one else on the team has to go through what I had to."
Vols have 13 days to correct breakdowns " GoVolsXtra
As promised, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley and his staff looked closely at the breakdowns that led to several big plays in Friday night's scrimmage at Neyland Stadium. Dooley said Saturday a film review found three main culprits: Players were inexperienced in running a particular type of coverage; communication problems in two-minute situations; and just getting beat on a well-executed offensive plays.
VOL REPORT: Locking In for Strong Finish - UTSPORTS.COM - University of Tennessee Athletics
"We had a real good practice today, high energy," Dooley said. "We got a little rain out there so we got some wet ball work and that was good. This is the hardest part of camp. You finish two scrimmages and they are sick of it, the coaches are sick of it, but we have a couple of more days to work that we have to get something out of. "It is so important, when you get to this point, to lock in on one or two specific areas that we have to improve on, individually, as a unit, as a group, whatever it is. If you keep that focus on how can I value my self-improvement the next two days, then you will get something good out of it. And we did today, so I was pleased."