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Britton still UT’s No. 1 placekicker headed to fall

Britton’s still the Volunteer for placements.

“Right now, as we go in, he would still be the guy that kicks,” Tennessee football head coach Phillip Fulmer said about Britton Colquitt, former Bearden High School standout athlete, on adding placekicking to his punting duties for 2007.

Colquitt, UT’s punter the past two seasons and a consensus All-SEC choice in 2006 (44.9 yard average/seventh nationally), was labeled by the Vol skipper as “an important factor in what we’re trying to do as far as field position … he’s a real weapon.”

Addressing area media during the program’s annual breakfast/press conference/golf event at Gettysvue Polo, Golf and Country Club in West Knox County July 17, Fulmer added that if freshman placekicker Daniel Lincoln “continues to progress, we may end up with Britton kicking long field goals and Daniel kicking short ones. I just don’t know how that’ll pan out.”

Steve Caldwell, UT defense ends coach who also doubles as a special teams skipper, said Colquitt “had a great spring. And from what I understand, has worked hard this summer.”

Colquitt, 22, highlighted his placekicking tryout last spring by nailing a 51-yard field goal in the Orange and White Game.

“This will be the first time in a number of years, since I’ve been here [since 1995], that we’ve asked someone to do both kicking and punts,” Caldwell said. “Hopefully Britton can handle that, that it doesn’t mess up his kicking. A lot of guys do it in the N-F-L, so I think Britton will be able to do it. … Just as long as he doesn’t overwork his leg, and it doesn’t get too sore, I think we’ll be in great shape.

“The big factor is he does have a strong leg,” Caldwell added. “I think that it’s just two different techniques that you have to worry about more than leg strength, or when he hits it, whether it’s going to go low or high.

“I think he handles pressure well.”

However, Dustin Colquitt, Britton’s older brother and ex-Bulldog/former Vol who led the NFL in net punting last season as a Kansas City Chief, is concerned about fatigue.

Dustin said kick-off duties create “a big strain on your leg, and if you’re already doing two different jobs, that would just be a tough task at hand.

“But he’s doing great,” Dustin added. “Mentally, he’s far beyond his years with everything. He did great last year, I think he was top-10 in the country. I expect the same thing this year. He’s a big, healthy kid.

“He had a lot of success, but he’s one that won’t let the success get to ’em. He’s just tries to build on every year and get better. I expect him to do the same this year.”

The brothers get together every summer to practice side-by-side, as was the case this summer — in early July — in Knoxville.

(See related story, page 13A)


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