There's only so much you can learn from a spring game, but Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers nevertheless put on a good show this afternoon at Neyland Stadium. The Vols beat themselves 70-63.
Jones opened the festivities with the Circle of Life Drill, with offensive lineman Drew Richmond and defensive back Marquill Osborne looking especially good.
Josh Dobbs did play a little, and after his first two passes were on target but dropped and tipped/intercepted, his receivers starting helping him look good. Dobbs' third pass was a beauty down the seam to Ethan Wolf for 57 yards, and his next was an awesome throw and catch by Preston Williams for a touchdown. Mostly, the QBs and WRs looked good, with the receivers especially showing an ability to come down with contested catches in tight coverage. The biggest surprise here might have been Jeff George, a new 6'6", 190-pound JUCO receiver who made several really nice grabs, including this one:
Jeff George can go ⬆️ and get it! pic.twitter.com/zwaDG4Kpjg— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 16, 2016
Also looking good was John Kelly. With Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara both playing two-hand touch, Kelly played full speed all the way to the ground and ripped off several nice runs.
The Big Announcement that Butch Jones has been teasing for several days now? Season captains. Since he's been at Tennessee, Jones has elected to go with game captains rather than appointing guys for the entire season, but this year, he's decided differently. The captains this year are just who you'd think they would be: Cam Sutton, Josh Dobbs, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Alvin Kamara (who might be the only "surprise.") Each of them took the microphone after being introduced as a captain and addressed the entire crowd at the stadium. Dobbs told us he'd see us in Tampa. Yes, that's where the national championship game is this year.
All in all, it was a fun afternoon, and now we wish all the injured Vols a speedy recovery and hope that everyone behaves, works hard, and shows up this fall ready to kick some butt.