-The Vols kicked off fall camp on Friday afternoon. The biggest news coming out of day one of fall camp is that Chance Hall, Trey Smith, and Jauan Jennings are back, but limited. After practice, Coach Pruitt was made available to the media and said some interesting things.
- Pruitt stressed the importance of the new, third practice field.
- Pruitt praised LB Darrin Kirkland Jr., describing him as a “fast learner” and saying, “You don’t play in this league as a true freshman unless you’ve got something about you, and he did so I think he’s got a chance to really help us.”
- Pruitt complimented newcomers Kenneth George Jr. and Bryce Thompson saying, “Bryce and Kenneth for their first practice, they showed some promise. They both have good feet, are heavy handed, play the ball well, have instincts and have to learn what to do.”
-Friday night, Johnny Manziel made his CFL debut with the Montreal Alouettes after announcing his return to football earlier this year. Johnny Football’s CFL debut game was…less than stellar. He went 11-for-20 for 104 yards and threw four interceptions, two of which happened on the second and third passes of the game. After the game Manziel was interviewed and said, “I think we got beat so bad, things went so bad, so quick that even throughout the game, even when I was in there, I just kept telling myself that this is a test, this is the football gods humbling me.”
-Late Friday afternoon, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer opened up on Twitter about the ongoing Zach Smith situation. Meyer admitted to knowing about the domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015 (he denied knowing about his history of abuse at Big Ten Media Days). Meyer said, “Here is the truth: While at the University of Florida and now at The Ohio State University, I have always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels. And, I did so regarding the Zach Smith incident in 2015. I take responsibility very seriously and any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.” Meyer then went on to apologize for being “not adequately prepared” to answer questions about the Zach Smith situation at Big Ten Media Days.
-Jalen Hurts had some very interesting comments Saturday afternoon when asked about the handling of the quarterback competition going on down in Tuscaloosa. Hurts voiced his concerns, saying, “No one came up to me the whole spring, coaches included, no one asked me how I felt. No one asked me what was on my mind, no one asked me how I felt about the things that were going on, no one asked me what my future entailed. That’s that. So now, it’s like when we trying kinda handle the situation now, for me its kinda late, it’s too late, the narrative has already been created.”
-The Vols added a last minute commit to the class of 2018 on Saturday. Three-star athlete Reggie James out of Gainesville, Georgia announced his commitment as a preferred walk-on to Tennessee on Twitter. James had offers to play for Georgia Southern, Colorado State, FIU, Purdue, and was offered a preferred walk-on spot at Auburn.
-The Vols hosted their inaugural “Fan Day” on Sunday afternoon. The Fan Day was an opportunity for Vol fans to get autographs from the players and watch an open practice. Interesting notes from the open practice portion of Fan Day:
- Freshmen newcomers Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson both had outstanding performances during the session. Taylor had two interceptions, one thrown by Guarantano, and the other thrown by Chryst. Thompson also had an interception.
- Guarantano looks like a completely different quarterback than he was in 2017. As or right now he appears to be the starter.
During Fan Day a few players were made available to the media. Redshirt senior Paul Bain had an interesting comment when he was asked about his thoughts on Coach Pruitt. Bain said, “Coach Pruitt is honest, trustworthy, hard nosed. He is everything that you would look for in a coach. I love playing for him, and I love going to work for someone who loves the game as much as you love the game. I can genuinely tell as a player that he plays through us. I bet any amount of money that if he could come out and play with us he would do it in a heartbeat. I can say that for all of the coaches – Coach Rocker and the rest of the coaches. I have fun coming here every day and I love because they love it. They are just as invested as I am and that means a lot to me.”
-Sunday night, former Lady Vol Candace Parker scored her 5,000th career point in the WNBA. Parker became the 20th player in WNBA history to reach the 5,000 point mark.