It was a busy weekend for the Volunteers on the banks of the Tennessee River. First, Josh Heupel and staff held the annual Orange & White Football Game inside Neyland Stadium with nearly 60,000 fans in attendance. Who stood out and what questions were answered for Tennessee football headed into the next phase of the offseason?
It was also a massive recruiting weekend for the Big Orange. What are prospects like Kamarion Franklin, Peyton Lewis and others saying after attending the Orange & White Game? Who is Tennessee’s new commit for the Class of 2024 and what can he (Edrees Farooq) bring to Tim Banks’ defense at the safety position?
And there was some official visitors on campus for Tennessee basketball as the Vols are portal shopping. What’s the latest with Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht and Harvard big man Chris Ledlum following weekend visits?
Brent Hubbs & Eric Cain were joined by Grant Ramey and Austin Price to break it all down on the final edition of the Rocky Top Rewind for this academic year. The show will return in August prior to the start of football season and fall camp.
What the guys said on the Rocky Top Rewind
Eric Cain on if Nico Iamaleava is on pace…
“Everything that we saw from Saturday wasn’t going to dictate if he had a good spring or a bad spring. I thought he did some really good things. He was 8-of-16 throwing for 112 yards. Of course the play we are all talking about was when he rolled out and was directing traffic – throwing that dart down the sideline to Ethan Davis. That’s one play where you sit back and say, ‘ok – that’s instincts and escape ability.’ Another thing I was impressed with was his escape ability was really good. They can’t sack him in that scrimmage, but his ability to extend plays and get out of the pocket was good. Josh Heupel and Joey Halzle have said a couple of times this spring that they are impressed with his ability to process some information and to take a lot from an early age. You can see a lot of good stuff from him, but also he makes some mistakes. He made a couple on Saturday and has made some over the last month. I think this is a good start from Nico and I think he is right where the expectation was for him to be his first spring here at Tennessee. He’s showing a hole lot of ability and a whole lot of promise, but still knows there’s a long way to go.”
Brent Hubbs on if the secondary will be better in 2023….
“Well, they have to be better if this defense is going to grow. They do. They have to play particular better at the safety position in my opinion. They’ve got to play the middle of the field better. They obviously want and need to tighten up their coverage. In order to do that, some guys have got to show up up front. That’s Joshua Josephs and James Pearce and some of those guys off the edge getting to the quarterback. If the corner doesn’t believe the guys are going to get there, then he’s going to protect himself – it’s a natural instinct. He’s going to give a little more ground and be in a position he shouldn’t be in. So, that front has got to get home to help that secondary.”
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