Coach: Phillip Fulmer
90-19-0, 10 years
2001 Record: 11-2
at Arkansas WON 13-3
at Alabama WON 35-24
at Notre Dame WON 28-18
at Kentucky WON 38-35
at Florida WON 34-32
Louisiana State @Atlanta LOST 20-31
Michigan WON 45-17

2001 Final Rankings
AP-4,   BCS-4,   Coaches-6

22 year old sophmore Kelley Washington dominated opponents in his first year.
2002 Outlook

How good have the Tennessee recruiting classes been since coach Phil Fulmer took over the program? This year the college football world should find out, mainly because the number of returning starters drops for 2002, in particular, on offense. But some of the mainstays are players that are easily recognized. This team from Knoxville will generally be found in everybody's Top 7 from high to low, which puts the Vols in a nice position of getting back to the Fiesta Bowl title game to defend their 1998 title won from Tempe. You're really looking at only nine starters back with every single starter but Clausen at the offensive skill positions gone, as well as the entire defensive line. The main keys for success will be how well the offensive skill positions live up to their billing with out having received much playing experience, and the rebuilding question needs answered with the defensive line as the names departing were about as top notch as can be (see NFL draft). The schedule stands in the way; especially with Miami rolling to town this coming fall as that game is an obvious candidate for Game of the Year. Hard to envision an undefeated team as November concludes, so they will need some help just like 2001. Not to put any added pressure on Phil Fulmer, but the SEC East is his to lose.

Projected 2002 record: 12-2

QB - 4.5 DL - 2
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..
Passing: Casey Clausen, 227-354-9, 2969 Yards, 22 TD's

Rushing: Cedric Houston, 18 att., 106 yds., 1 TD's

Receiving: Kelley Washington, 64 rec., 1010 yds., 5 TD's

Scoring: Alex Walls, 15 FG, 39 PAT, 84 pts.

Punting: Dustin Colquitt, 51 punts, 39.6 avg.

Kicking: Alex Walls, 15-20 FG, 39-39 PAT, 84 pts.

Tackles: Eddie Moore, 81 tot., 58 solo

Sacks: Constantin Ritzman, 4 sacks; Demetrin Veal, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Rashad Baker, 4 for 82 yds.

Kickoff returns: CLeonard Scott, 25 ret., 20.9 avg.

Punt returns: Rashad Baker, 26 ret., 237 yards, 9.1 avg.

OFFENSE: Will Bartholomew-FB, Travis Stephens-TB, Eric Parker-WR, Bobby Graham-WR, John Finlayson-TE, Reggie Coleman-OT, Fred Weary-OG, Donte Stallworth-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Bernard Jackson-DE, John Henderson-DT, Will Overstreet-DE, Dominique Stevenson-MLB, Andre Lott-CB, Teddy Gaines-CB, Albert Haynesworth-DT (NFL)


Fulmer's position as one the most successful coaches in college football (95-20 for an .826 percentage in 10 years) owes much to his ability as a wise judge of talent. When Casey Clausen struggled at times early in his career, Fulmer maintained faith in the young quarterback.

Even as Clausen matured last season, Fulmer advised fans the best was still to come - leaving open the possibility the next two years could produce results beyond conventional expectations. On the brink of his junior campaign, Clausen is regarded as an all-star candidate with unlimited potential.

His statistics in 2001 were impressive: 227 completions in 354 attempts for 64.1 percent, 22 touchdown tosses, nine interceptions. He found the range in the bowl game with Michigan, riddling the Wolverines for 393 yards and three touchdowns on 26-for-34 passing and no interceptions.

Aside from Clausen's passing prowess, Fulmer noted an admirable streak of toughness that he exhibited in a gutsy touchdown run against Notre Dame. "Casey doesn't back away from anything," Fulmer said.

C.J. Leak, who transferred to Tennessee from Wake Forest, is another scholarship quarterback on the roster. He started seven games as a freshman for the Demon Deacons and three games his sophomore season of 2000 before injuring his knee.

The Cinderella story of 2001 football, the transformation of Travis Stephens from a face in the crowd to All-America tailback, was an indispensable ingredient in the Vols' rise to fourth in the final polls. But there is no shortage of gifted candidates seeking to replace the man who ended his career as Tennessee's top single season runner of all time with 1,464 yards.

Last year's recruiting class yielded four marquee running back prospects, none of whom logged more than sporadic amounts of playing time. But when Jabari Davis, Cedric Houston and Derrick Tinsley took to the field, the ability that earned them high school All-America status was obvious. The fourth prize recruit, Keldrick Williams, was redshirted.

Junior Troy Fleming, the most experienced returning member of the running back corps, saw most of his service backing up Will Bartholomew at fullback and figures to contribute mainly as Will's replacement. Last season, Davis alternated between fullback and tailback, while Houston and Tinsley took their snaps at tailback.

Practice field observers spotted Kelley Washington as a budding talent his first day of spring workouts last year and correctly saw future stardom for the sturdy youngster. The one-time baseball hopeful, who decided to enter college after a short professional career on the diamond, became a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist as a freshman wide receiver. His most notable achievement came in the regular season LSU game when he compiled a school record 256 yards on 11 receptions.
Washington, with 1,010 yards on 64 catches, will be a favorite target for Clausen, who also can look to returning lettermen Montrell Jones, Leonard Scott and Tony Brown. C.J. Fayton moved from quarterback to receiver before spring practice.

The favorite cry of football fans nationwide, "Throw the ball to the tight end," was heeded big-time at Tennessee last year when 6-5, 265-pound Jason Witten was on the receiving end of 28 pass completions. Witten, a junior, has the athletic ability to avoid tacklers. The ones he can't avoid, he runs over. Witten's emergence as a quality possession-style receiver gave Tennessee a trio of sure-handed receivers who spelled trouble for opposing defenses.

The triumvirate of Washington, Stallworth and Witten was a lot to handle. With Stallworth turned pro, Washington and Witten need a third threat to emerge and give opponents something more to worry about.

The offensive line should be formidable despite the loss of two regulars, guard Fred Weary and tackle Reggie Coleman. Optimism concerning the front is based partly on the return of two potentially premier players who are trying to bounce back from injuries.
Michael Munoz, who attained freshman All-America rank two years ago, missed the entire 2001 season after undergoing knee surgery. He appeared destined to become one of Tennessee's best linemen ever when the injury bugaboo struck. The other returnee from the ranks of the wounded will be Jason Respert, who missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury.

The two topflight sophomores hope to reclaim starting jobs -- Munoz at tackle, Respert at guard. If they're successful, they will join five other linemen who have starting jobs in their backgrounds. Two of them, senior tackle Will Ofenheusle and junior center Scott Wells, started every game last season. Guard Anthony Herrera had six starts, guard Chavis Smith four and tackle Sean Young two.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Casey Clausen-Jr C.J. Leak-Jr
FB Troy Fleming-Jr William Revill-Fr
TB Cedric Houston-So Jabari Davis-So
WR Kelley Washington-So Tony Brown-So
WR Leonard Scott-Sr Montrell Jones-So
TE Jason Witten-Jr Sudan Ellington-Fr
OT Michael Munoz-So Sean Young-Jr
OG Jason Respert-So Victor McClure-So
C Scott Wells-Jr Chuck Prugh-Jr
OG Chavis Smith-Jr Anthony Herrera-Sr
OT Will Ofenheusle-Sr Richie Gandy-Fr
K Alex Walls-Sr ..




Picture, if you will, a defensive front made up of an Outland Trophy winner, another tackle of all-star potential, an end who, though injured, made big play after big play and another end who was becoming the dominant force anticipated when he signed out of high school.

And then, "Poof!" just like that, they're all gone. A line canonized by much of the media as the best in the land suddenly vanished, three of the quartet out because their eligibility had expired. A fourth decided to give up his final year of college football to join the NFL.

A representative group of returnees will be on hand for 2002, but it would be asking a lot to expect them to equal the contributions made to the Vols' defensive stature by John Henderson, Albert Haynesworth, Will Overstreet and Bernard Jackson. The combination of strength, speed and experience they encompassed will be hard to match.

Omari Hand and Constantin Ritzmann have the advantage of experience at end, both of them having moved into the starting lineup at some point last season. Ritzmann in particular exhibited a penchant for making big plays. Of his 33 tackles, eight were executed short of the line of scrimmage, and four were sacks. Hand was a regular early in the season before giving way to Jackson, who held the starting role the rest of the year. Hand accounted for 21 tackles, three of them for losses. Demetrin Veal and Karlton Neal are returning lettermen.

Veal has impressive credentials, not the least of which are found on the tackle chart, revealing his 16 stops included seven for minus yardage. That's an incredible tackles-to-lost-yardage ratio.

Henderson and Haynesworth last year staked out their territory at tackle and had few challengers when they were in the lineup together. Three lettermen will fight it out with other hopefuls for playing time, including one veteran who was a first-teamer two years ago but missed 2001 because of an injury. Senior Edward Kendrick plans to press his experience advantage as a former regular in hopes of nailing down a job.
Rashad Moore (28 tackles last year) and Aubrayo Franklin (14 tackles) are other tackle candidates, with Moore's history as a three-time letterman perhaps giving him an edge moving into the 2002 season.

Eddie Moore will try to lead a charge that could turn the linebacker positions into a dominant portion of the defense, reminiscent of the leadership provided by Al Wilson four years ago. Moore forged headlong into the picture last season when he picked up steam in the Vols' stretch run.

Moore's statistics put him at the head of the defense in number of tackles and also showcased his wide range of talents. Credited with 81 tackles, seven more than runner-up Dominique Stevenson, Moore registered seven tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, three quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Fifty-four of his tackles came in the last seven games.

After a year at left linebacker, Moore heads up a seasoned crop of backers that includes Keyon Whiteside and Kevin Burnett, who shared duties on the right side. Junior Robert Peace returns after serving as backup to Stevenson at the middle linebacker post. Other hopefuls include junior Tony Campbell and freshman Kevin Simon.

The secondary is populated with Vols who showed a flair for making big plays. Three of the positions return starters, the exception being the cornerback slot on the left side where seniors Andre Lott and Teddy Gaines were a steadying force for an ambitious but young backfield.

In his second year at UT, Jabari Greer fulfilled the promise of a productive freshman campaign by serving capably at right cornerback, opposite Lott and Gaines. Jabari's quickness enabled him to knock down 12 passes, contributing to a total of 14.5 big plays.
Julian Battle, new on campus last year with a background as a junior college standout, wasted no time establishing his presence at strong safety. A fierce hitter, Battle combined tackling skills with a nose for the ball to finish the season with 19 big plays. He forced a pair of fumbles and recovered two, taking one of them 81 yards for a touchdown at Notre Dame.

Rashad Baker, in line for a third year at starting free safety, was at his best in headline games, tallying 13 tackles against Notre Dame and leading the charge in the key late season victory at Florida with nine stops. Third on the squad in number of tackles, he was tops in interceptions with four.

A wide-open fight looms for the left cornerback job, but there is enough experience and talent in the secondary to solve any problems in that vital area of the defense. Willie Miles returns from a redshirt season and also will compete for playing time. Senior Steven Marsh and junior Mark Jones will be keys as possible starters or top reserves.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Omari Hand-Sr Mondre Dickerson-Jr
DT Rashad Moore-Sr Demetrin Veal-Sr
DT Aubrayo Franklin-Sr Edward Kendrick-Sr
DE Constantin Ritzmann-Sr Karlton Neal-So
SLB Eddie Moore-Sr Tony Campbell-Jr
MLB Keyon Whiteside-Sr Robert Peace-Jr
WLB Kevin Burnett-Jr Jason Mitchell-Fr
CB Willie Miles-Sr Robert Boulware-Fr
CB Jabari Greer-Jr Corey Larkins-So
SS Julian Battle-Sr Steven Marsh-Sr
FS Rashad Baker-Jr Mark Jones-Jr
P Dustin Colquitt-So ..
Third year starter Casey Clausen will be expected to lead the Vols to great feats.