Aug. 20, 2009
BY DREW EDWARDS
Gerald Jones is no stranger to expectations. But even going through fall camp with a cast on his surgically repaired left wrist didn't change the expectations the junior wide receiver had for himself.
"I think a lot of people were shocked that I came out here and made some plays with the cast on," Jones said after Thursday's practice. "I actually expected it. I don't expect anything but the best."
For Jones, it just got better.
That bulky cast is gone, replaced with a smaller, removable soft cast. And Jones can certainly tell a difference.
"It's a lot different, you know," he said. "I went from catching it with my body on certain plays because of my cast to actually, I feel normal. I still got a cast on, but I've got more room. It's a lot easier. I'm making a lot more plays.
"It is a blessing in disguise. I'm happy that I did what I did this summer."
No Word on NCAA: UT coach Lane Kiffin declined to go into specifics on what UT has heard from the NCAA regarding true freshman tailback Bryce Brown's eligibility, although he did say the Vols are working to provide information that could help Brown's case.
"I'm going to leave it that we're working with them, and (UT associate athletic director for compliance) Brad Bertani's doing a great job helping us put together other cases and other information and researching everything. It's consuming. It's on my mind all the time, because I want what's best for the kid."
Brown was limited again Thursday with a nagging hip injury, UT coach Lane Kiffin said.
"Yeah, he came out, went through a little bit of individual (drills)," Kiffin said. "You can tell he couldn't move too well on it. We pulled him at that point."
Talkin': Jones is one of the Vols' most talkative players, but he may have met his match in freshman David Oku.
The two Oklahoma City natives spent a lot of time together during fall camp, admittedly with a lot to talk about.
"Every day of camp, David came to my room every night," Jones said. "We would just talk about when he was in high school and I was in high school, and when we went to school together. All the good times. Talk about old friends and everything. And then we'd talk about practice and how everything's going, how college is going for him."
But catching up had its limits, at least for Jones.
"I had to kick him out," Jones said, smiling. "David can talk, now. He can talk your ear off. I think we had curfew at 11. We got out of meetings at 10. He'd probably stay in my room until like 12, 12:30. I'd be so tired, like `David, get out of my room.' He's like a little brother, man. He nags me, too."
Scrimmage Open: Saturday's scrimmage, which begins at 12:20 in Neyland Stadium, is open to UT students. Gates will open at noon, and students need their UT IDs for admission at Gates 1, 2 and 3.
Reach Drew Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.