Aug. 23, 2006

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer called Tuesday's final scrimmage of the preseason a success for the first teams on both sides of the ball. The Vols coach made his remarks after Wednesday's brief workout at Haslam Field.

"I thought a number of people established themselves," Fulmer said of his reviews of the game videotapes. "Michael Frogg has won the starting center job for the Cal game and I'm really proud of him."

Frogg, a 6-4, 300-pound junior from nearby Kingston, recently was awarded full scholarship status and has been battling redshirt freshman Josh McNeil for the first-team role. Fulmer also praised McNeil's play and said he will see game action, but gave Frogg the slight nod to start the season.

The coach also praised sophomore defensive end Robert Ayers.

"He definitely has pushed himself into a position where we can count on him playing like a first-teamer," said Fulmer of the Clio, S.C., native. "That was very important to our defensive football team and gives us some flexibility to move guys around if we have to. Turk McBride can play inside in certain situations and it won't hurt us."

Fulmer continues to appreciate the play of his secondary at this point.

"We feel like we are playing with three safeties right now with (Demetrice) Morley kind of the swing guy," he said of the sophomore from Miami, Fla., who has divided time at that position with Jonathan Hefney and Antwan Stewart. "We want all three of those guys in the game to keep people fresh.

"All those things came out of the scrimmage. We've got some bumps and bruises but everybody will be back and ready by Saturday morning's kicking scrimmage at the latest."

Those returning include linebacker Jerod Mayo, who injured his ankle Saturday and has been sidelined.

Tennessee meets California one week from Saturday at Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.





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