Vols Freshman Defensive Back Shawn Shamburger Impressing Coach Jones
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 24-ranked Tennessee football team continued to build towards its season opener against Georgia Tech with a spirited practice at Haslam Field on a hot Friday afternoon.
Head coach Butch Jones and three student-athletes answered questions from the media after practice.
One of the reoccurring themes over the past few weeks has been the early success of freshman defensive back Shawn Shamburger. The Moultrie, Ga., native had his black stripe removed after an impressive showing at the team’s scrimmage on Wednesday evening.
“He’s an individual who’s really stepped up,” Jones said. “In the last few practices he’s really made his presence known at the cornerback position.”
Juinior defensive back Michah Abernathy added that he has been impressed with the work ethic on and off the field from Shamburger and fellow freshman DB Cheyenne Labruzza.
“They’re hard workers on and off the field, in the classroom, film room and anything like that,” Abernathy said. “They’re always trying to get ahead of the older guys, so they’ll both be good.”
Despite battling some injuries throughout fall camp, the Tennessee offensive line is starting to take shape and build some continuity.
“The first scrimmage is always a huge learning (experience) for some of the freshmen,” Kendrick said. “We got some numbers back and we got to see what we can do versus the defense just out there playing football in a controlled scrimmage. It was good. We had a lot of fun.”
The redshirt senior also praised the development of sophomore offensive lineman Marcus Tatum, stating that he’s looked like a completely different player this fall.
“You can see with Marcus, Coach Rock (Gullickson) has done a great job with him, put on weight,” Kendrick said. “He is coming back with a mindset that he’s ready to play and ready to compete at the highest level.”
The Vols will practice the next three days before an off day on Tuesday. Classes for UT’s fall semester officially begin next Wednesday, Aug. 23.
The season opener against Georgia Tech is also quickly approaching. The Big Orange will take on Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Labor Day (Sept. 4) at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.