The Smokey Chomp

Tennessee Football: Impact Freshman
July 26, 2009, 12:06 am
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Tennessee football stumbled to a very dissapointing 5-7 season in 2008, thus sparking a new regime, led by Lane Kiffin, and brought one of top recruiting classes in the country. Though ruffling many feathers along the way Lane Kiffin has proved he can do one thing: recruit. In about a month, the Tennessee staff which incluces the likes of Monte Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Eddie Gran, and others, stole Nu’keese Richardson and Marsalis Teague away from Florida, Darren Myles, who most thought was Alabama bound, and secured commitments from two five star prospects Bryce Brown (#1 player in the country) and Janzen Jackson (long time LSU commitment).

From day one, Lane Kiffin has preached that the best players will start, regardless of seniority, and that includes freshman. With several recent injuries, specifically at the wide reciever position, it looks as though Kiffin will have no choice but to play freshman. Three potential starters have suffered injuries in Austin Rogers (out for season), Denarius Moore (out 8-12 weeks), and Gerald Jones (should be back by opener). Through this, incoming freshman will likely be thrusted onto the first team at the start of fall camp.

Of the recievers that could see signifigant playing time are Nu’keese Richardson, Marsalis Teague, Zach Rogers, and James Green if he shows. Of the three, as of right now it looks as though Richardson and Teague have the best opprotunity of getting signifigant first team snaps, and both should leading up to the season opener. Both are fairly similar players, smaller but exceptionally quick with excellent change of direction skills. Rogers is one to keep on eye on. So far, he has impressed. He is bigger than both Teague and Richardson, and is listed at 6’2 but is probably closer to 6’1 or 6′.5. He has shown that whatever he may lack in natural ability, he makes up for with hard work.

At other offensive positions, the obvious “playermaker” is top recruit Bryce Brown who the Vols signed well after national signing day. He has impressed most everybody with not only his natural ability, but also his work ethic. Brown is the ultimate do-it-all back, and has a power/speed combo that is truly rare in running backs. Going into the season he should a second stringer and splitting carries with Montario Hardesty, assuming Hardesty stays healthy but should receive the bulk of the carries by the end of the season. Another very highly touted running back that UT signed after NSD is David Oku. The jury is still out on him, but he should receive limited playing time at running back this year, but will probably get a look at special teams and may get a look at slot receiver. Oku is more a of a scat back than Brown, but the two should be quite a duo by year two. The Vols are also especially thin on the offensive line, so don’t be surprised of one of Jerquari Schofield, Kevin Revis, or possibly even Daniel Hood is a starting on the OL by the end of the season.

The defensive class was headlined by three main recruits: Janzen Jackson, Darren Myles, and Jerod Askew. All three should receive signifigant playing time this fall. Myles should get his first look at safety, and Jackson will likely be a corner, but can also play the safety position. Askew, while he may be a little on the smaller size, is a solidly built, aggressive linebacker with better than average speed. All three should blossom in Monte Kiffin’s defense. One to keep on eye on is Robert Nelson, who received a lot offer from UT, but has impressed many this spring and seems determined to prove many wrong. Another freshman who should make an impact is Montori Hughes, who was in the class of 2008 but sat out last season. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron has raved about Hughes thus far, and while he may not start, expect him to receive playing time early after an impressive spring. Another to keep tabs on Marlon Walls, who was signed in an earlier class but spent a year in junior college. Though originally recruited as a linebacker, he has signigantly outgrown that position and many reports say that he has exploded to nearly 290 pounds. He hasn’t made it to campus yet, but recently got admitted and should arrive soon.


July 9, 2009, 5:32 pm
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Current Odds

If you follow recruiting news as carefully as I do, then you may also pay attention to odds and point spreads. When you bet online you get the latest available information on almost any game, anywhere, and just a click away.

check me out on the bleacher report
May 23, 2009, 1:34 am
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Recently got a bleacher report profile and will be writing on both websites. The link is below.


TheBleacherReport- TheSmokeyChomp

The B-Gun?
September 12, 2008, 8:15 pm
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With anticipation looming just 2 weeks before the Florida game i thought i’d make a bold prediction that will most likely blow up in my face. Eric Berry is going to line up at quarterback. I vividly remember Berry scoring 7 of UT’s 20 points while on defense last year in the Swamp. I know preseason everyone was talking about the G-Gun but i think Fulmer’s was waiting for the Florida game to unleash this monster (or as i like to call it the B-Gun). If you don’t trust me take it from Berry himself and read this excerpt from

“Offensive coordinators are more willing than ever to think outside the box – or even, outside the offense. Now, Berry, a former high school quarterback, is convinced he will finally get a chance to play offense as well as defense.

“Yeah, I believe it,” he said. “Coach (Phillip) Fulmer is a man of his word. So I trust him on that.”

Wide receiver Gerald Jones succeeded in a limited role in UT’s “G-Gun” package last season. It makes sense to give Berry a similar chance to line up as quarterback in a shotgun formation.”

Also, while i have your attention, i’d like to point out that Eric Berry is probably the only person in the entire country that Tim “Superman” Tebow, heisman trophy winner, is afraid of. Watch out for Eric Berry to be a gator killer, whether on offense or defense, when Florida comes to Knoxville.

Impact of UCLA Game
September 1, 2008, 5:16 pm
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As all of you loyal vol fans know our beloved Vols play Rick Neuheisel and UCLA today and but i think we should take a look at the big picture. If Tennessee does beat UCLA and then goes in and beats Florida than UT should, by all means, be the the team to beat in the country. I’m not saying their the best team in the country, but if they start off their first three games at 3-0 and beat a good UCLA team and a potential national championship contender like Florida in the process than why shouldn’t they be the team to beat? Just something to chew on as you watch Fulmer & Co. embarrass Neuheisel.

UT vs UF: 3 Weeks Out
September 1, 2008, 2:09 am
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With just 3 weeks left to the game we (and Kirk Herbstreet for that matter who predicts Florida to win the national championship) have all been waiting for i feel it is suited for a much biased preview. This is going to be tough having not seen the outcome of UT vs UCLA. If you look at both teams Tennessee is really the more well-rounded. They have the better overall defense anchored by their secondary with two potential all-americans in Demetrice Morley and Eric Berry while both teams have pretty comparable defensive lines. The offense is where it gets interesting because it can really swing either way. Tennessee has the RB edge by far with Foster, Hardesty, Creer, Poole, Jak. Williams, i could really go on forever. All Florida has is a RB/WR in Percy Harvin and RS freshman Chris Rainey. Tennessee i think has the clear cut lead in wide recievers. If you look at both team’s #1 WRs UT has the edge. Last year Lucas Taylor had 73 catches for 1,000 yards and 5 TDS while Percy Harvin had 59 catches for 858 yards and 4 TDS. Florida doesn’t really have a clear cut #2 WR while Tennessee has 3 WRs (Gerald Jones, Austin Rogers, and Josh Briscoe) who could potentially be the #2 reciever. Florida probably has the better quarterback play with returning Heisman trophey winner Tim Tebow but i think Urban Myer will probably limit Tim Tebows best strength: his running. He’ll probably only get about 9-11 carries compared to the 16 APG he got last year. If you take away TT’s running ability (which i hope Tennessee will do) he really is only an average QB. This is where the toss up is. If Jonathan Crompton lives up to his 3 years of hype then Tennessee will definetley come out with a W but if JC has an average/below average game i think Tennessee will be hard pressed to win. Also, look out for the JC running the ball a lot like Tim Tebow does. I distinctly remember Crompton putting fears in the eye’s of LSU (supposedly the nations “top” defense) with not only his bruising and gutsy running style but also his ability to throw. Check out the videos below and see how the LSU DBs hesitate to tackle him and how Crompton goes for 11-24 with two TDS and INT and puts his team in an opprotunity to win. Pretty good for a freshman against the best defense in the country, eh?