SEC: Quintin Hancock

Position superlatives: Tennessee

March, 30, 2010
Today, we take a look at what should be the strongest and weakest positions for Tennessee entering the 2010 season:

Strongest position: Receiver/tight end

Key returnees: Gerald Jones, Denarius Moore, Marsalis Teague, Luke Stocker

Key departures: Quintin Hancock

The skinny: The Vols’ top three pass-catchers from a year ago are all back, and that includes Stocker, one of the better receiving tight ends in the league. Stocker thought about turning pro, but elected to return for his senior season. Moore led the Vols with seven touchdown catches. The threesome of Jones, Moore and Stocker combined for 16 touchdown receptions last season and will form the nucleus of Tennessee’s passing game in 2010, although they will have to get used to a new quarterback. Moore has terrific speed and gives the Vols a legitimate deep threat. Jones is versatile enough to move around and play different spots. One of the Vols’ highest-rated signees, Da’Rick Rogers, will be difficult to keep off the field.

Weakest position: Offensive line

Key returnees: Jarrod Shaw, Dallas Thomas

Key departures: Chris Scott, Aaron Douglas, Jacques McClendon, Cody Sullins, Cory Sullins, Vlad Richard

The skinny: An already challenging situation for the Vols up front got a lot worse when Douglas went into first-year coach Derek Dooley’s office last week and asked for a release. Douglas, who had moved from tight end to right tackle the year before, was going to be the anchor of the line. But with him gone, the Vols essentially will be starting over. Shaw started three games last season at guard, all during the first part of the season. He’s the only player with any meaningful experience returning. Redshirt freshman JerQuari Schofield at guard and true freshman Ja’Wuan James at tackle are both working with the first unit right now. Sophomore Dallas Thomas is the likely left tackle. As inexperienced as the Vols will be up front, depth will be an even bigger problem. They can’t afford to get anybody hurt.

Another Tennessee receiver goes down

August, 24, 2009

Posted by's Chris Low

Tennessee can't seem to keep its receivers healthy, as junior Gerald Jones is the latest to go down.

Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in Saturday's scrimmage and could be out four to six weeks, ESPN The Magazine's Bruce Feldman reports. The Vols are hopeful that he can beat that timetable and get back in time for the UCLA game on Sept. 12 or at least the Florida game on Sept. 19.

Jones led the Vols in receiving last season. They've already lost senior Austin Rogers for the season with a knee injury, while junior Denarius Moore will be out until the middle of September with a foot injury.

It's a good thing Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was able to pull in Nu'Keese Richardson and Marsalis Teague this first recruiting class, because both are going to have to play early and often in 2009.

Another important component in Tennessee's passing game figures to be Brandon Warren, who played tight end at Florida State before transferring. Warren has trimmed down and moved to receiver and will likely open the season as a starter.

Another summer injury for Tennessee

July, 14, 2009

Posted by's Chris Low

Losing players any time is tough. But losing them during voluntary summer workouts?

It looks like Tennessee has lost two that way now, the latest being senior receiver Austin Rogers, who last week suffered what team officials fear is a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

The Vols had already lost freshman running back Toney Williams to a torn ACL. He underwent surgery last week after blowing out his knee during workouts in June. Williams, who enrolled early, was one of Tennessee's most impressive performers in the spring.

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin has promised to get his young talent on the field, which means the door would appear to be wide open for freshmen Nu'Keese Richardson and Marsalis Teague to come in and play right away.

The Vols also need to get more out of Denarius Moore and Brandon Warren this season, and it will be interesting to see how Gerald Jones fits into Kiffin's system. He has tons of ability. And the sleeper at receiver?

I'm going with Quintin Hancock.

He caught everything thrown his way when he came in as a freshman, but has sort of disappeared ever since. Maybe a new staff, new system and new approach will add up to a big senior season for him.

Hancock, Walker most improved at Tennessee

April, 17, 2009

Posted by's Chris Low

Two players who've had big springs at Tennessee -- receiver Quintin Hancock and defensive end Chris Walker -- were named the Vols' most improved players entering Saturday's Orange and White spring game.

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said Walker has been the Vols' best defensive player this spring. All-America safety Eric Berry has been held out of contact while he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Hancock has shown some of the same playmaking ability he showcased prior to his first season at Tennessee in 2006 when he caught everything thrown to him during the preseason. He's sort of disappeared the last few seasons, though, but looks like he's going to be a big part of the rotation next fall as a senior.