Tennessee football: Coach Butch Jones singles out two freshmen with praise

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Two Tennessee freshmen had the black stripes on their helmets removed at practice Friday night.

Coach Butch Jones opened up his post practice comments by singling out the deserving players and mentioning their play on the field.

“A big day for two newcomers,” Jones said. “The first two to get their stripes off today tight end LaTrell Bumphus and safety Theo Jackson. Their stripes were removed from practice and were very well deserved.”

The players’ respective position groups decide to remove someone’s stripe when they believe it has been earned.

RELATED: WATCH: Tennessee freshman TE LaTrell Bumphus a star in the making

Both players have received plenty of praise from the coaching staffs through fall camp.

Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop signaled out Jackson’s performance at a media availability on Thursday.

“If there’s one guy who has probably emerged that I maybe didn’t expect to is Theo Jackson,” Shoop said. “As a freshman, he has a composure about him and he has a high football intellect. The game is just not too fast for him. He asks 200 level questions in meetings and I think Charlton [Warren] and I are both really pleased with his progress so far.”

Jackson had a defensive breakup in the end zone on tight end Eli Wolf in Friday’s live goal-line scrimmage.

RELATED: Butch Jones opens Tennessee live scrimmage, Quinten Dormady fires TD pass

Bumphus and Jackson both came to Tennessee as 3-star prospects, according to 247Sports. The Vols have more heralded recruits, but it only matters what the players do on the field with the team.

“You never know,” Jones said. “You’re always kind of interested to see who will have it removed first, but very deserving. They come and they come and they work hard every day and earning the respect of their peers.”

Next phase of camp

Friday marked practice No. 10 of fall camp, and the Vols are now ready to make the transition into the next phase of the preseason.

The players ended their summer school classes before Friday’s practice. The team will move into a hotel for the next six days.

Jones did not down play the importance of the next few days with the hope to build more cohesion amongst his team.

“We move into the hotel tonight and to me, this is all about training camp now,” Jones said. “It’s 100% focus on football and this team has to continue to grow and mature. So, the next few days are going to tell us a lot about our football team.”

The post Tennessee football: Coach Butch Jones singles out two freshmen with praise appeared first on SEC Country.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.