For the fifth day in a row, the Tennessee Volunteers took the practice field on Saturday as part of the team's fall camp. It was the first time, however, that the team was suited up in full pads. A new face was seen on the practice field as well, as wide receiver Von Pearson made his debut with the team on Saturday after being fully reinstated on Friday.
It was a hot and humid day outside, but players weren't allowed to take it easy in the August heat. Wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni made sure his unit was hustling through drills and paying attention to the small details of their craft. Pig Howard and Marquez North once again were the most consistent performers of the wide receiving group, as both made good efforts on all the balls thrown their way and brought down nearly all of them. Josh Smith continues to recover from the injury that sidelined him for most of last season, and his footwork and awareness are improving. Josh Malone had some inconsistencies, but overall he didn't make any critical mistakes and showed good hands on most of the balls thrown to him.
But of course, the big focus of today's practice was Von Pearson and his return to the team. Von caught both balls thrown his way during an individual period, including an acrobatic one-handed snag for his second catch. Pearson was not in pads as he still has to go through the acclimation process since this was his first practice, but he appeared in shape and just as quick as he was in the Taxslayer Bowl and early in the 2014 season before his injury. Josh Smith also made a one-handed grab as he tiptoed along the sideline mere minutes before Pearson's catch.
Jason Croom did not practice with the team today, working out on the sidelines instead. Quarterback Josh Dobbs once again showed off his improved ability to throw the deep ball, and Sheriron Jones continues to impress with his strong arm. Quinten Dormady also displayed a strong arm, but he also appears to have a softer touch on the ball when needed.
The Vols won't take the practice field on Sunday and will return on Monday for the second day of full pads. We will continue to bring you coverage throughout fall camp.