DB Jonathan Hefney

2006 Statistics

Coach: Phillip Fulmer
137-41, 15 years
2006 Record: 9-4
at Memphis WON 41-7
at Georgia WON 51-33
at South Carolina WON 31-24
at Arkansas LOST 14-31
at Vanderbilt WON 39-10
Penn State LOST 10-20

2006 Final Rankings
AP-25, Coaches-23, BCS-17

2007 Outlook

After the rotating quarterback debacle of 2005 that elicited a 5-6 mar on head coach Phillip Fulmer’s distinguished legacy here, Erik Ainge put his stamp on this team as its leader and savior in 2006. The nation’s No.14 QB will again be a guiding force, but the Vols go nowhere unless they reestablish their usually-effective running attack. Sophomore RB LaMarcus Coker needs to share the rock less – let him get into a groove as the workhorse. Replacing all of the primary WRs and one side of the line mean challenges abound for the offense before it can hit on all cylinders. Things are similar on defense, with new corners and tackles needing to quickly display some superiority for the Vols to avoid another embarrassing result in the nation’s toughest conference. The turnover on defense could help in the end, but the offense, which just flat out-scored some foes (Air Force, Georgia) to secure UT wins last season, has been dealt a tougher hand. There is no margin for adjustment, either – the season starts out in Berkeley with a rematch against No.19 Cal, then a home stand sees non-con toughie Southern Miss visit, and then a trip to Gainesville and a home tilt with Georgia within three weeks all means there is a huge range within which this team can perform. Four of their last five are at home, but Tennessee’s destiny for ’07 will have been determined by then. The Vols have always had to earn their place in such a tough conference and division, and the Orange Nation can therefore feel good in again expecting big things from their team.

Projected 2007 record: 9-3
QB - 4.5 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Erik Ainge, 233-348-9, 2989 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: LaMarcus Coker, 108 att., 696 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Chris Brown, 31 rec., 239 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: LaMarcus Coker, 6 TD, 36 pts.

Punting: Britton Colquitt, 46 punts, 44.9 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Jonathan Hefney, 96 tot., 66 solo

Sacks: Jerod Mayo, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Jonathan Hefney, 5 for 75 yds.

Kickoff Returns: LaMarcus Coker, 9 ret., 20.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Jonathan Hefney, 17 ret., 12.1 avg., 0 TD


P/K Britton Colquitt
OFFENSE: Cory Anderson-FB, Jayson Swain-WR, Bret Smith-WR, Arron Sears-OT, David Ligon-OG, James Wilhoit-K, Robert Meachem-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Turk McBride-DT, Justin Harrell-DT, Matt McGlothlin-DT, Marvin Mitchell-MLB, Jonathan Wade-CB, Antwan Stewart-CB, Demetrice Morley-SS (dismissed), Inquoris Johnson-CB (inj.)

With the offense finally under only his command, then-junior Erik Ainge responded by leading Tennessee back into the top 10 (for a while). A knee problem in ’07 spring drills led to surgery that is not expected to limit Ainge’s mobility, though the downtime allowed dual-threat backup Lucas Taylor time under center that tested the defense in different ways. The biggest area needing help is the running game. After ranking 96th, coach Fulmer has to abandon the running back-by-committee approach. Sophomore LaMarcus Coker, a second-team Freshman All-American, distinguished himself as the best out of a trio of capable underclassmen, and he needs to get about twice as many carries to assure the Vol running game is what it should be. Another big test will be how well the receiving corps rebounds from losing its top three guys. Transfer Kenny O’Neal, this year’s No.2 JUCO prospect, and Brent Vinson will push guys like Slick Shelley, Quintin Hancock and Austin Rogers to see who gets the starting slots – this much talent will assure Ainge that he has open targets early and often. Also helping open up the downfield proceedings will be two experienced TEs with proven soft hands. Brad Cottam uses his 6’8 frame to his advantage, staying in protection with the same optimal effect that he offers in going downfield. Just as athletic is monster senior left tackle Eric Young (runs a 4.8 40), who has starting junior left guard Anthony Parker and center Josh McNeil back to secure that side. McNeil was a first-team Freshman All-American, making senior Michael Frogg expandable to the open right guard slot. Most of the two-deep up front is 300+lbs, making better footwork and increased mobility challenges needing to be met if UT is to get the ground attack back in top form.


QB Erik Ainge


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Erik Ainge-Sr (6-6, 220) Jonathan Crompton-So (6-4, 230)
TB Arian Foster-Jr (6-1, 225) LaMarcus Coker-So (5-11, 195)
Montario Hardesty-So (6-0, 205)
WR Austin Rogers-So (6-2, 185) Quintin Hancock-So (6-3, 200)
WR Lucas Taylor-Jr (6-0, 185) Casey Woods-Sr (6-5, 215)
TE Brad Cottam-Sr (6-8, 270) David Holbert-Sr (6-1, 259) (FB)
TE Chris Brown-Sr (6-3, 250) Jeff Cottam-So (6-8, 260)
OT Chris Scott-So (6-5, 305) Ramon Johnson-Fr (6-5, 310)
OG Ramon Foster-Jr (6-6, 325) Vladimir Richard-So (6-4, 297)
C Josh McNeil-So (6-4, 280) Michael Frogg-Sr (6-4, 290)
OG Anthony Parker-Jr (6-3, 305) Jacques McClendon-So (6-3, 330)
OT Eric Young-Sr (6-4, 305) Steven Jones-Sr (6-4, 305)
K Britton Colquitt-Jr (6-3, 205) Daniel Lincoln-Fr (6-0, 204)



The Vols defense, which finished with an out-of-character ranking of 50th overall, needs attention across the board if they are to have this squad competing for the East division title. Senior ends Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds are solid in many ways, but they will have to produce more big plays for UT to finish better than they did in ’06 for run defense (72nd). Sophomore Demonté Bolden is the Vols lone hat inside with significant real game reps, but we expect the youth movement to be part of the eventual improvements up front. End Walter Fisher, the second-best overall JUCO-transfer last year, and this year’s No.2 strongside end Ben Martin are joined by two of 2007’s other four-star tackle recruits (Langley, Melancon) to constitute enough talent to soon get the Vol line back up to snuff. A huge part of Tennessee’s overall results will hinge on how long that takes. Both outside starters at linebacker return, and they will be a huge boost in bolstering the fledging efforts up front. Will the No.1 ILB prospect, Chris Donald, get reps in the middle as a true frosh? Ellix Wilson is a bulked up ex-DB whose range will help him really excel as the likely new starter at MLB, so this unit is strong with depth - Rico McCoy also excelled as a freshman, he on the weakside behind junior starter Jerod Mayo. The nation’s top corner recruit, Eric Berry, will compete for one of the vacated corner slots – his 4.33 time in the 40 assures he doesn’t get redshirted. Vinson also played at corner in prep; so much inexperience will surely need time to adjust and gel, so expect the corners to get picked on until they prove they need to be avoided. It doesn’t help that strong safety Demetrice Morley was dismissed for grades (an unfortunate University High School in Miami product), but soph Antonio Wardlow has enough experience there that Morley won’t be missed by midseason. Jonathan Hefney is an all-SEC product at free safety who will buoy the secondary’s rebuilding efforts. Overall, there are a few areas needing serious focus before this D is ready for the tough September slate.


LB Jerod Mayo


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Xavier Mitchell-Sr (6-2, 255) Wes Brown-So (6-4, 256)
DT Dan Williams-So (6-3, 310) Chase Nelson-So (6-4, 256)
DT J.T. Mapu-Sr (6-4, 290) Demonte' Bolden-Jr (6-6, 290)
DE Antonio Reynolds-Sr (6-3, 270) Robert Ayers-Jr (6-3, 260)
SLB Ryan Karl-Sr (6-0, 218) Adam Myers-White-Jr (6-2, 215)
MLB Jerod Mayo-Jr (6-2, 230) Ellix Wilson-Jr (5-10, 225)
WLB Rico McCoy-So (6-1, 215) Dorian Davis-So (6-2, 215)
CB Antonio Gaines-Sr (5-9, 180) Art Evans-Fr (6-1, 185)
CB Marsalous Johnson-So (5-9, 180) Roshaun Fellows-Sr (6-0, 185)
SS Jarod Parrish-Sr (6-3, 200) Sinclair Cannon-Jr (6-2, 215)
FS Jonathan Hefney-Sr (5-9, 185) Antonio Wardlow-So (6-0, 185)
P Britton Colquitt-Jr (6-3, 205) ..




Punter Britton Colquitt’s average of nearly 45 per try will again equal a top 15 net effort in his native Knoxville. The parade of big-footed candidates for the open slot at kicker should only benefit UT in the end as they all vie for the start. Hefney is solid as the team’s punt returner, but Coker has to improve at KR to keep coach Fulmer from constantly trying out other speedsters.