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The Swain Event — 8/17/17

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Hour 1: Swain, Charlie, and Brad discuss what the Vols are doing in practice to avoid injury and Charlie plays and sings Rocky Top live in the studio.

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Hour 2: The guys take questions from listeners and talk about John Kelly and who will be returning punts in 2017.

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Hour 3: Former Vol defensive back Jonathan Wade joins the show to talk Tennessee football and tell stories about his time in Knoxville.

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Download The Swain Event app to stream the show every day from 7–10 a.m. ET by clicking the logo below


The Swain Event — 8/17/17 was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Redshirt sophomore tight end Eli Wolf leaps for a catch during Tennessee’s practice at Haslam Field on Sunday, July 30. (Photo credit: Brad Matthews/Orange and White Report)

Eli Wolf has squared off with his older brother, Ethan, in Tennessee’s Circle of Life drill on numerous occasions.

Tuesday’s bout at Haslam Field was different.

Instead of getting into a head-on collision, UT head coach Butch Jones called the drill off and promptly announced that Wolf would be placed on scholarship after joining the Vols as a walk-on in 2015.

@EliWolf16 scored a BIG WIN in today's Circle of Life ... 🍊🏈 https://t.co/k9sZWtvN26

 — @Vol_Football

“It was a shock,” Wolf said. “I didn’t see it coming at all. It’s exciting, but it isn’t going to change the player I am. I’m still going to be competitive as ever.”

“He’s earned that playing for us,” Jones added. “I just can’t say enough about him and what he has meant to this program. He’s very deserving.”

Wolf walked-on at Tennessee after only receiving scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and Jacksonville State coming out of Minster High School in Minster, Ohio.

Earning his scholarship on Tuesday was proof he made the right decision.

“It’s obviously something I’ve thought about,” Wolf said. “Every walk-ons dream is to eventually mean enough to the team to where they do put you on scholarship.”

Wolf becomes the sixth scholarship tight end on UT’s roster, joining Ethan, Jakob Johnson, Austin Pope, LaTrell Bumphus and James Brown.

Redshirt sophomore tight end Eli Wolf runs during a drill at Haslam Field on Sunday, July 30. (Photo credit: Brad Matthews/Orange and White Report)

Ethan Wolf is entrenched as the Vols’ starting tight end, but Eli Wolf is currently sharing reps for the rest of the snaps at the position.

“His role continues to increase in our offense as his skill set has continued to grow,” Jones said. “He’s put the weight on that is necessary to be a three-point tight end, a two-point tight end, and he’s meant a lot to us in special teams as well.”

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Vols’ Eli Wolf awarded scholarship was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Photo Credit: Brad Matthews / Orange & White Report

Tennessee had its 13th practice of fall camp on Tuesday and we followed the Vols’ defensive backs to see how exactly they workout with new coach Charlton Warren.

Check out what we saw…

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VIDEO: Vols Defensive Backs Practice 8/15/17 was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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The Swain Event — 8/15/17

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Hour 1: Swain, Charlie, and Brad talk about the Vols’ quarterback battle and the rest of the news from around Tennessee.

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Hour 2: The guys debate the validity of Butch’s “black stripe” system and take calls from listeners.

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Hour 3: Chris Low of ESPN joins the show to talk about the Vols and the rest of the college football world.

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Download The Swain Event app to stream the show every day from 7–10 a.m. ET by clicking the logo below


The Swain Event — 8/15/17 was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Photo Credit: Brad Matthews / Orange & White Report

Orange & White Report is previewing every position group for the Vols in anticipation of the 2017 season. Click here to check out all of our position breakdowns.

Projected Depth Chart

LT1: Drew Richmond (6–5/ 309 lbs, RS So.)

LT2: Brett Kendrick (6–6/ 318 lbs, RS Sr.)

LG1: Jack Jones (6–4/ 312 lbs, Jr.)

LG2: Venzell Boulware (6–3/ 306 lbs, RS So.)

C1: Jashon Robertson (6–3/ 300 lbs, Sr.)

C2: Coleman Thomas (6–5/ 309 lbs, Sr.)

RG1: Trey Smith (6–6/ 320 lbs, Fr.)

RG2: Ryan Johnson (6–6/ 281 lbs, So.)

RT1: Marcus Tatum (6–6/ 281 lbs, So.)

RT2: Brett Kendrick (6–6/ 318 lbs, RS Sr.)

The Volunteers’ offensive line has continually received praise as being one of the most solid cores on the team. Tennessee returns almost its offensive line from the 2016 season and massive five-star prospect Trey Smith has been added to the mix. With tackle Chance Hall’s knee injury sidelining him for the 2017 season and a few other minor injuries already plaguing the o-line, will the Vols be able to stay healthy and prove they are the best group on the team?

Offensive Tackle

The entire offensive line was a bit of a revolving door last season. With injuries and an apparent lack of strength, the Vols’ o-line shifted around often under the purview of previous OL coach Don Mahoney. Now, Mahoney’s replacement, Walt Wells, will try to decipher the code with UT’s men in the trenches. It’s hard to say exactly how he’ll treat the depth that he has but needless to say, he has a fair amount of options.

At tackle, Drew Richmond attempted to live up to his five-star status coming into Knoxville last year and starting in the final four games of the season. There were rough patches for Richmond but his improvement could be seen once he was given more playing time. Coach Wells has said that Richmond had a productive spring and has picked up “his mental aspect of understanding what the defense is trying to do to him.”

The Vols took a huge blow to the offensive line with Chance Hall being ruled out for the year after undergoing knee surgery. Luckily, sophomore Marcus Tatum has experience playing in big games. In his freshman year in 2016, Tatum was hoisted into the spotlight quickly. He played the first game of his career against Alabama after two players ahead of him (Kendrick and Hall) went down with injury.

Additionally, Brett Kendrick has a chance to build on his body of work at the tackle position. He started in all 13 games of 2016 but he has a battle on his hands with Richmond and Tatum for playing time. It’s likely that Kendrick will alternate between right and left tackle, much like he did a year ago.

Interior Linemen

Out of all of the offensive lineman, center Jashon Robertson is primed to have the biggest year. Robertson is currently on the Outland Trophy watch list for the nation’s top interior lineman and is easily the most experienced player on the line with 35 starts. Robertson spent the majority of spring practice filling in for the injured Coleman Thomas at center and appears to have found his niche.

Guard Jack Jones has played 14 games in the past two seasons and started six games last year amidst the aforementioned injury problems. Jones also battled the injury bug after tearing ligaments in his thumb last year. The two-time Mr. Football winner is yet another talented offensive lineman that has been limited in the past and hopes to notch more than just 6 starts in the upcoming season.

On the opposite guard position will be the true freshman five-star phenom Trey Smith. Smith has a chance to be the centerpiece of the offensive line unit in the future. However, head coach Butch Jones has noted that they are halting putting too many expectations on Smith as he is just a true freshman. And look for redshirt sophomore Venzell Boulware to make a push for either guard position. He’s seen some time with the first team offense at the left guard spot during the spring.

Conclusion

The Tennessee offensive line is the most experienced and battle-tested unit that the team currently has, despite the absence of Chance Hall. There hasn’t been this deep of an offensive line in Knoxville in years and the potential is there for a big season. Even with the injuries, last year’s offense scored a school record 473 points and ranked 51st in sacks allowed with 25. The current offensive line could easily top the performance of the beleaguered 2016 line and, undoubtedly, they are the key building block for the success of the Vols’ offense. Barring any more catastrophic injuries, Tennessee’s offensive line should be a true asset in the coming season.

Orange & White Report is previewing every position group for the Vols in anticipation of the 2017 season. Click here to check out all of our position breakdowns.


2017 Vol Football Preview: Offensive Line was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Photo Credit: Brad Matthews / Orange & White Report

Evan Berry prefers to play safety.

At least, that’s what he said when he was asked whether he prefers fielding kickoff returns or defensive back duty. Berry spoke to Orange & White Report at Tennessee’s annual Media Event on Sunday and didn’t shy away from any questions.

“I really enjoy playing safety, to be honest,” Berry said. “Just knowing that you can control a lot of snaps throughout the game.”

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Berry is a 5-foot-11, 205 pound senior who came to Knoxville in 2014 as a four-star rated defensive back. He’s played in 35 games as a safety and collected 35 tackles, but over time, he’s truly found his identity returning kicks instead of intercepting passes. In 2015, he was named a first-team All-American returner after he racked up 804 return yards and 3 kicks returned for touchdowns.

This predilection for special teams proficiency has made Berry a candidate for a position on offense (he also played some running back in high school), but in his three years with the Vols, he’s only officially touched the ball once on offense. That single running play ended with a six-yard gain, if you’re wondering.

Many fans and analysts have called for Berry to get playing time in Tennessee’s offensive backfield, but according to Berry himself, he’s only interested in switching sides of the ball if it helps UT win games.

“I’m cool with (playing on offense) but my priority right now is defense and special teams,” stated Berry. “But, if Coach Jones said ‘Hey, we need you to do this, blah, blah, blah’ then I’m with it. I’m a team player, so, wherever they need me, I’m there.”

There you have it, Evan Berry will happily play on offense, if given the chance. Now it seems that whether or not he ends up running the ball in a situation other than kick returns simply begins and ends with Butch Jones.

VIDEO: Tennessee Football Players at Vols Media Day


Evan Berry Will Play Wherever He’s Needed This Season was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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The Swain Event — 8/14/17

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Hour 1: Swain, Charlie, and Brad talk about what players said during the Vols’ media day and they discuss why Tennessee has a lot of work to do before the season starts.

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Hour 2: Thomas Goldkamp of gatorbait.net joins the show to talk about the credit card fraud situation at Florida and Patrick Brown of GoVols247 joins the show to talk about Tennessee’s media day.

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Hour 3: The guys take questions from listeners and discuss Josh Dobbs’ performance in his first NFL game.

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Download The Swain Event app to stream the show every day from 7–10 a.m. ET by clicking the logo below


The Swain Event — 8/11/17 was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Photo Credit: UT Sports

An article was published last week by a Knoxville-based media outlet that directly called Tennessee senior tight end Ethan Wolf “soft,” among other things. The piece was controversial, so much so that we here at Orange & White Report took an editorial stand against it.

On Sunday, Wolf was made available to answer questions during the Vols’ annual Media Day and OWR had the opportunity ask him about his feelings on the article.

“No matter what was said in that article, it’s not going to affect fall camp or anything that’s going to happen in the future,” Wolf said. “I’m not going to let something like that affect me. Somebody putting words on a piece of paper. I think if you’re going to say something about that to somebody, you know, just say it to their face. Until then, I’m not too worried about it.”

A 6-foot-6, 258 pound native of Minster, Ohio, Wolf accumulated 239 yards receiving and two touchdowns in 2016. You can hear everything else he had to say at Media Day in the video below…

(Check out comments from Jarrett Guarantano, Darrin Kirkland Jr., and others at Media Day by clicking here)

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Ethan Wolf Isn’t Worried About Articles Attacking His Toughness was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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Photo Credit: Brad Matthews / Orange & White Report

Tennessee held its annual preseason media day on Sunday and Orange & White Report was there to take it all in. We were able to speak with multiple players one-on-one at the event and you can see everything they had to say in the videos below…

Jarrett Guarantano — So./QB

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Ethan Wolf — Sr./TE

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Evan Berry — Sr./DB

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Darrin Kirkland Jr. — Jr./LB

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Kyle Phillips — Jr./DE

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VIDEO: Tennessee Football Players at Vols Media Day was originally published in Orange & White Report on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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