Vols Rajion Neal Inspired by Coaches Criticism

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Updated: 8/29/2013 2:19 pm

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's Rajion Neal is coping with a bruised ego a year after an injured ankle ended his quest to become the Southeastern Conference's leading rusher.

Neal attributes his attitude to new running backs coach Robert Gillespie, who is toughening Tennessee's most experienced offensive playmaker by pointing out all of his shortcomings. Neal says that constructive criticism "puts a chip on your shoulder" and inspires him to work harder.

The senior hopes to stay healthy and play a complete season.

Five weeks into the 2012 campaign, Neal ranked second in the SEC with 460 total yards rushing and fourth in the league with 92 yards rushing per game. But he injured an ankle Oct. 13, sat out Tennessee's next two games and wasn't as effective upon his return.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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