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SURPRISE! Tennessee is in need of offensive line depth, and other talking points

Derek Dooley was making his rounds with the Media yesterday. Most of the quotes you’ll find in any of yesterdays stories can be found in their proper context here in the transcript from Dooley’s weekly Media Luncheon.

Having that said, yesterday’s hot topics included lots of playing time for freshman on the offensive line. Quite honestly, this situation is getting a little scary as we have games against teams with big, deep, defensive interiors right around the corner.

What's left on the line is sophomore tackle Dallas Thomas, true freshman left guard James Stone — who's been backing up both Thomas and Schofield — sophomore center Darrin Gooch, senior right guard Jarrod Shaw and true freshman right tackle Ja'Wuan James.

"We don't really have a backup left guard or left tackle," Dooley said. "Nobody else has really ever snapped. I brought that up — who's our third center — and the coaches laughed at me. I'm like, 'It's not funny.'"

It’s getting to the point where we may want to consider running somA-11 packages.

Tauren Poole looks to bounce back from his tough day against Florida during which he injured his thigh during the 4th quarter. For the record Poole says he’s anywhere from 90 – 91%... which thanks to the minus system instituted Fall 2008, would actually not qualify Tauren for an ‘A’ on the 4 point scale.

The article above also discusses how freshman defensive ends Corey Miller and Jacques Smith are going to have "more specified roles" going forward. Which I guess means so far they’ve been… unspecified?

Derek Dooley also discussed how not being able to fully practice in fall camp caused sophomore safety Janzen Jackson to struggle against Oregon’s tempo. He did however bounce back to have 9 tackles against Florida. There is still room for improvement in that we could have really used a few of these plays on 3rd down. sigh…

Good news on the recruiting front; Derek King, a 3 star cornerback from Brentwood, Tennessee named Tennessee as his leader yesterday. King says he’ll take official visits to Tennessee, Auburn, Ole Miss & Vanderbilt.  

"Tennessee is definitely my No. 1 favorite," King said. "They have recruited me the hardest during this process. They have made me feel very important to their future success."

So though this isn’t even an official "commitment" by recruiting site standards, we’re totally his number 1 favorite bestest friend.

Obligatory Bruce Pearl recruiting scandal update.

Five current UT players were among the 12 then-prospects that Vols coaches contacted in excess or outside the period allowed by the NCAA: senior Melvin Goins, junior Renaldo Woolridge, sophomore Kenny Hall and freshmen Jordan McRae and Tobias Harris.

Sources in the UT athletic department said the players’ eligibility is not in question. The school said in its self-reports to the NCAA that the Vols did not gain a competitive advantage as a result of the impermissible calls.

Good thing we risked the foundation of the whole program in making the calls then… eesh.