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Reveiz brothers vital UT leadership, depth cogs

After two major injuries during his Tennessee Volunteers football career, senior middle linebacker Nick Reveiz admitted to having thoughts of “why me?”

But one collective cry from the 2010 Vols — given the team’s lack of depth and experience plus talent considered mediocre at best compared to other SEC schools — is “lead me,” something Reveiz said “is what I’ve been born to do” after being elected a junior team captain and signal caller in 2009.

Reveiz, an ex-Farragut High two-sport standout, said he’s close to 100 percent healed from a serious knee injury ending his season early last fall as a first-year starter — 27 tackles in four starts.

“I always try to live my life [that] if a challenge is presented, it’s there to make you get better; I think God makes everything happen for a reason,” the 5-foot-10, 224-pound Reveiz said following the 2010 Orange & White spring game in Neyland Stadium Saturday afternoon, April 17.

The former walk-on was just a spectator Saturday, almost seven months after his season-ending surgery following an ACL knee tear suffered versus Ohio Sept. 26.

Reveiz, a three-time Academic All-SEC honoree, also broke his leg during spring practice in 2007.

Having participated in much of spring practice, Reveiz said, “I felt like if I needed to play I could have, if it was a [regular season] game.”

Reveiz said he’ll share defensive leadership duties with senior defensive end Chris Walker. “We try to feed off each other,” he said.

Junior Shane Reveiz, yet another Knox County walk-on moving up the depth chart as a second-string linebacker (5-foot-9, 218-pounds), had three solo tackles Saturday for the White team in its 16-7 victory.

“But I haven’t accomplished any of my goals I really want: to start.”

About first hearing word of 2009 UT head coach Lane Kiffin’s departure, this former FHS Admirals standout recalled his exasperation. “My thoughts were, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve got to start all over again?’

“When coach [Derek] Dooley came in here, they still give walk-ons a really good shot,” Shane added. “I definitely had to start over again in some ways, but it’s definitely something I enjoy going through because it helps me out in life to go through hard times.”

Comparing last season’s defense led by coordinator Monte Kiffin versus this season, led by Justin Wilcox, Shane said, “Coach Monte’s was more of a gap-control defense; coach Wilcox allows us to play more downhill ... we have a little more freedom to make plays.”

Junior walk-on Cory Eichholtz, former Bearden standout, earned a letter in 2009 as a regular member of UT’s kickoff and punt coverage teams beginning with the Oct. 10 home victory versus Georgia.

“Getting a letter was pretty amazing, I definitely didn’t think that was going to happen,” he said. “Against South Carolina, I had a couple of tackles.”

Comparing Dooley and his staff to that of Kiffin and his assistants, Eichholtz said, “I think this staff is a little bit more traditional, a little bit more consistent. I think we’ll have these coaches for several years to come and that’s good for us to build some consistency.”

In his first-ever UT game in front of a Neyland Stadium crowd, freshman Michael Fromke, Vols reserve quarterback and ex-Christian Academy of Knoxville standout, played one series Saturday (1 of 2 passing for 5 yards). “It’s always a little tough, but it’s something I’ve dreamed about and grown up wanting to do,” he said.

Other Farragut-area Vols looking to contribute from the current non-scholarship “Vol Squad” are sophomore second string offensive tackle Daniel Hood (Knoxville Catholic), junior long-snapper Nick Guess (FHS), senior holder/receiver Geoff Courtney (FHS), sophomore receiver Chris Cates (CAK) and freshman defensive back Nick Branum (KCHS).


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