March 30, 2010
Defensive lineman Greg Clark of Warner Robins, Ga., signed with Tennessee on Tuesday to became the 26th member of the Vols' 2010 football signing class.
The 6-3, 300-pounder helped Northside High School to a 13-2 record this season and a berth in Georgia's Class AAAAA state championship game. Clark recorded 34 solo tackles, 21 assists and nine tackles for loss as a senior team captain and was named the unit's "Best Defensive Lineman" -- quite an honor on this perennial powerhouse squad.
"He's a really talented kid," Northside defensive line coach Ryan Crawford said. "He's not a fast guy, obviously at 300 pounds, but he's such a strong kid. This is a great opportunity for Greg."
Clark was a three-year starter for Northside and sparked the Eagles to the 2007 state championship. This year was supposed to be a rebuilding season under legendary head coach Conrad Nix, but Clark and Northside's defensive unit allowed more than 300 total yards to just one opponent and held five foes to fewer than 200 total yards.
VOLS HANDLING THEIR OWN TWO-MINUTE DRILLS
Tennessee kept up its situational work on Tuesday during another two-hour and 15-minute practice at Haslam Field.
Head coach Derek Dooley said it was the first day that coaches were on the sidelines during the team's two-minute drills, and not intermingling as plays were being run.
"It's always a tough day on the players, because all spring you've had your coach in your ear in between every play. But at some point, you've got to cut the cord and it's time to go out there as a unit and go play after play after play.
"We've got a long way to go in two-minute. The situation in two-minute to win the game is so critical. So many games come down to the last drive. You've got to put a lot of work in to where your team doesn't panic, your team understands what to do no matter the situation and they have confidence to make the play.
Dooley believes the best way to teach those instinctive responses is from actual experience.
"Sometimes the coach always wants to be right on top of the player telling them what to do, and every time he makes a mistake telling him what he did wrong. It's no different than parenting. When you have a young child, you're always trying to watch every step -- `don't to this, do that, don't do this.' At some point you've got to let them fall down so that it hurts, or you have to let them touch the hot thing so they learn."
Tennessee's seventh of 15 spring practice dates is Thursday.