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Tennessee Volunteers Football: Week 1 Spring Practice Stock Report

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIIMarch 14, 2013

Tennessee Volunteers Football: Week 1 Spring Practice Stock Report

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    The first week of spring practice is in the books for the Tennessee Volunteers. It's hard for fans to stay focused on the comings and goings of practice with all of this recruiting news, but Butch Jones seems to relish in it. This is his element.

    Very physical 1st day of pads! Offense won the day & will wear the Orange Jersey on Sat! #RiseToTheTop or Get Left at the Bottom! #Team117

    — Butch Jones (@UTCoachJones) March 14, 2013

    Though it's early in the game, the stock of a handful of players has already been affected by spring practice. There's plenty of time for good guys to go bad and vice versa, so it's important for the players and coaches to remain driven.

    We are 170 days from the 2013 kickoff.

Brent Brewer

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    Stock Change: Up

    There's not a defensive player who has been talked about more than safety-turned-linebacker Brent Brewer. The senior has always been a bruising tackler, so the position switch really suits him.

    Also, he has had trouble keeping weight off for the secondary, which won't be a problem now. If Brewer can learn the assignments of outside linebacker, he could be a great replacement for Herman Lathers, providing veteran leadership and hard hitting.

    Defensive coordinator John Jancek commented on Brewer's switch, "It gives us another dimension and more speed on the field."

Justin Worley

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    Stock Change: Flat

    Not much has changed in the all-important quarterback position battle during the first week. Junior Justin Worley is currently listed as the leader on the depth chart over redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman, but any lead in this battle is tenuous at best.

    After the first day of practice, UT Sports reported:

    Currently, the frontrunners for the job are Justin Worley, who has had limited playing experience during his time on Rocky Top, and Nathan Peterman, who redshirted his freshman year. Both players will split reps throughout spring practice.

    Butch Jones has commented repeatedly on inconsistent production from the wide receivers. Worley's stock can't really change until the young wideouts start finishing off catches.

Curt Maggitt

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    Stock Change: Down

    After an injury-riddled 2012 season that was ended in November by a knee injury, Curt Maggitt will miss all of spring practice. This comes as no surprise, but the Volunteers need him to have a resurgent 2013 for the defense, and it hurts to not have him.

    Butch Jones is confident that Maggitt will still learn from spring practice, though:

    Maggitt will be out and gain a lot of mental reps and he will continue working his body, so he will have a lot of work with Coach Lawson in the weight room.

    A linebacker corps that included A.J. Johnson, a retooled Brent Brewer and a healthy Maggitt would be a great start to an improved defense.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Bajakian

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    Stock Change: Down

    I love any and all Tennessee Volunteers.

    But I'm sorry, he looks too much like James Franklin. His stock is likely to rise once I see the offense clicking this fall.

Daniel McCullers

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    Stock Change: Up

    Big Daniel McCullers is down to 355 pounds for the first time since his freshman year in high school. He was in pretty good shape last year, but with 30 fewer pounds on him already, McCullers is taking a step forward and getting a lot of attention at spring practice.

    He and Maurice Couch are certainly going to be the starting defensive tackles, stellar spring or not. But with a slimmer frame (and 350 is a slimmer frame for McCullers), his stock is on the rise after Week 1.

Jay Graham's Running Backs

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    Stock Change: Down

    I don't know if you've "Hurd," but the Vols got a verbal commitment from the top player in Tennessee, second running back in the country and 15th overall player. His name is Jalen, and he's a contender for the 2016 Heisman Trophy already.

    Yes, the 2016 Heisman Trophy.

    In two recruiting seasons, Jay Graham brought in Alden Hill, Jabo Lee, Quenshaun Watson and Davante Bourque. Hill redshirted last season, Lee is still in high school, Watson transferred and Bourque didn't make it out of summer camp. Nice.

    On the other hand, in 97 days, Butch Jones snagged an elite running back prospect, the most important and exciting Tennessee recruit since Eric Berry.

    I'm rooting for Hill and Lee because they're Volunteers, but Graham's crop of running backs definitely saw the future value of their stock drop.

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