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Barnes active in O-W game; Guess ‘in mix’

While Brett Barnes was running all around Shields-Watkins Field making tackles during the edamerica Orange and White game March 31, long-snapper Nick Guess finds himself in contention for serious duty this fall.

Both former Farragut Admiral football standouts on UT’s Volunteer Squad (non-scholarship) got noticed Saturday in Neyland Stadium — while ex-Bearden Bulldog Britton Colquitt solidified his status as dual-purpose kicker in 2007.

Guess, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound true freshman who enrolled at UT straight out of FHS during winter semester, is close behind sophomore Morgan Cox, “which is kind of a battle between those two guys right now,” Vol head coach Phillip Fulmer said about the long-snapper starting job.

Guess snapped without incident on a successful 27-yard field goal by Daniel Lincoln in the third quarter in addition to a handful of punt snaps.

Barnes, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior (FHS Class of 2004), played the entire game as weak-side outside linebacker with Tennessee’s No. 2 defensive unit and recorded 12 solo and assisted tackles.

“I was just running around having some fun out there,” Barnes said. “I was just getting off blocks and being able to go and make the plays. I was hustling to the ball.”

Having played all three linebacker positions, “weak side was the position coming into the spring that coach [John] Chavis [defensive coordinator] told me that was the one he wanted me to work on,” Barnes said.

The former FHS standout said “hard work” and “paying attention to small things” have helped him progress. “Just working on my footwork and using my hands are probably the most important things,” Barnes said. “Learning to get off the linemen, and hitting them and working off of them.”

In terms of a serious contribution in 2007, Barnes said he would gladly accept “getting out there on kickoff teams, coach Chavis has mentioned that with me before.”

In addition to stellar punting Saturday, Colquitt, a redshirt junior, hit field goals of 43 and 52 yards. “Britton obviously had a big day with his punts and field goals,” Fulmer said. “And he’s still the guy.”


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