New-Look Vols Open Fourth Spring Under Josh Heupel

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New-Look Vols Open Fourth Spring Under Josh Heupel
Photo: UT Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – March 18, 2024 – Nearly three months removed from a New Year’s Day bowl victory, Tennessee football returned to the practice field to begin the fourth year of the Josh Heupel era with a workout in helmets and shorts on Monday.

“It’s a different team than it was at the bowl site,” Heupel said. “For us — strength and conditioning, the accountability factor — we are intentional with trying to develop leadership communication from within the locker room. There were guys that handled that extremely well and grew throughout it. Some great days, and some tough days we had to learn from too. That’s all part of the process and the journey. What I do like about this group is that they do compete extremely hard, they care about one another, and they are willing to get coached.”

The Vols welcomed 14 early enrollee true freshmen, eight FBS transfers and two new on-field assistant coaches to the field in linebackers coach William Inge and running backs coach De’Rail Sims. Many of those early enrollees got a taste of the pace of practices during bowl workouts in December. For Inge, it was his first practice since prepping for the College Football Playoff national championship game at Washington.

Two new freshmen enrolled on Monday in Nashville Lipscomb Academy defensive back Kaleb Beasley and linebacker Edwin Spillman. Both were ranked among the top 10 prospects in the state for the Class of 2024 by On3 and 247Sports.

Chris Brazzell II is one of the eight FBS transfers who joined the roster this spring. Brazzell was an All-American Conference selection last year at Tulane after catching 44 passes for 711 yards and five touchdowns.

“We have been really fortunate, building a culture where your veterans want good players around them and want to help them grow,” Heupel said. “That happens because of the position coaches that we have inside of those rooms, the culture that they set inside of those rooms. It happens because of the locker room. For Chris, all of the veteran guys that have been in this, they help him grow in just how to play the game within the game.”

The Vols will be in helmets and shorts again on Tuesday before donning shoulder pads on Thursday. They will close out the week in full pads on Saturday.

Full Story: UT Sports
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