Tennessee’s first year head coach isn’t too big on specifics when it comes to his players. Getting him to single someone out was downright impossible during spring camp, but that’s his choice, of course.
During the Big Orange Caravan’s stop in Memphis, however, Pruitt cracked. When asked about early-enrollee Jerome Carvin — who comes from the Memphis area — Pruitt gave some insight on how the freshman progressed through the spring.
“Jerome was actually a mid-year guy, so we got a chance to go through 15 days with him in the offseason,” Pruitt said. “I see a guy that works really hard. He’s got a great work ethic. He improved as camp went. He worked at both offensive tackle and guard.”
That versatility is probably going to help Carvin find the field pretty early in his first year. Tennessee’s clear need for numbers on the offensive line certainly isn’t going to hurt his chances either.
“He’s a really good competitor. He has some power in his body, so he’ll have an opportunity,” Pruitt said of Carvin.
Pruitt also spoke on West Tennessee product Greg Emerson, another early enrollee and one of Tennessee’s highest rated signees.
“I don’t think it’s really fair to Greg. Obviously, he didn’t play his senior year of high school due to injury and he’s worked really hard to get himself back in shape. He did an excellent job this spring of trying to do that, but he’s still got a ways to go.”
Of course, Emerson signed as a defensive lineman, but worked most of the spring at offensive guard. Pruitt was non-committal in his comments about Emerson’s final position, saying “we’ll see which side of the ball he ends up on this fall.”
Once the Vols get some bodies back up front like Trey Smith and Chance Hall, it’s possible that Emerson could return to his original position. It did seem like a simple depth move for the spring, but that question will probably be answered once and for all as fall camp begins in August.