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Hood transforms into Vols ‘D’ starter
Shane Reveiz out of big brother’s shadow?

Daniel Hood went to Tennessee Football head coach Derek Dooley with a suggestion in February.

By mid-April, Hood’s suggestion turned him from a struggling Vols offensive line reserve into a starting defensive lineman worthy of special recognition April 16.

“I asked him if I could do a couple of drills with [defensive line] coach [Lance] Thompson because it was something that I was thinking about,” said Hood, ex-Knoxville Catholic All-state lineman now a redshirt sophomore at UT, who won the starting nose tackle spot this spring and earned the Andy Spiva Award as “defensive surprise” out of spring practice.

“I thought I’d be able to better help our team over there,” the 6-foot-4, 293-pound Hood added after his White team rolled past the Orange 24-7 during UT’s annual spring game in Neyland Stadium Saturday. “[Dooley] said he’d talk with the staff about it. And then, after winter workouts, that’s when he said, ‘alright, we’re going to give you a shot at D-line.’”

About earning his starting spot, “I wouldn’t have expected it” prior to spring, Hood said.

Along with Harvey Robinson Award winner, offensive lineman Alex Bullard, Dooley said Hood and Bullard “had great springs.”

Dooley added that Hood “was struggling at O-line, and we needed some help on the D-line and he ended up spring as our first[string] tackle.”

Hood agreed about struggling on offense. “I just never really felt completely comfortable at it. … I still felt like I was holding back a little bit,” he said. “On defense, I’ve just always felt more comfortable.”

As a nose guard, Hood said, “It’s kinda like blocking in an inverse way … taking on two or three [offensive linemen]. … I find more fun in that.”

Hood said the Spiva Award “means a lot” coming from the coaches. “We’ve got 50, 60 people on defense, and they said that I was most improved, and that just kinda hits you like, wow.”

For all Hood’s progress, “I personally don’t think that I’m on the level with some of the other D-tackles in the SEC,” he said, adding that “pass rush” is where he most needs to improve “by the time we play Montana in our first game [Sept. 3].

“Right now I’m just playing with a lot of effort and toughness, but I’ve got to get the discipline down. And the little techniques and fundamentals of the position.”

Shane Reveiz, Vols senior non-scholarship back-up linebacker and former Farragut High School star, made it clear he’s closer than ever to his older brother, former Vols linebacker Nick Reveiz.

However, in addition to Shane rising on the Vols LB depth chart in spring, there’s a good side to being the only Reveiz on Rocky Top in 2011.

“I never felt any kind of jealously toward him,” Shane said of Nick, a two-year Vols starter often praised for overachieving. “But I guess it is good, just kinda trying to make a name for myself.”

The thought of being a star player at a NCAA Division 1-AA or Division II school, had he chosen that path, “has crossed my mind,” the 5-foot-10, 215-pounder said.

However, “I don’t really live with regrets,” Reveiz added. “I chose what I chose, and this is what God had for me, this is what His plan was for me.”

Looking realistically at 2011, Reveiz said his goal is “to start on special teams, and get some playing time at linebacker.”

Other Westside Vols who contributed Saturday included junior wide receiver Cory Eichholtz, former Bearden Bulldog who had one reception for nine yards, and first-string long snapper Nick Guess, a senior and ex-FHS Admiral. Other non-scholarship Vols from Farragut are Zach Allen (junior defensive back), Austin Bolen (freshman fullback), Jacob Gilliam (freshman offensive lineman) and Greg Grieco (freshman linebacker).

In addition to Hood, representing Knoxville Catholic are Nick Branum (sophomore defensive back) and Dorian Cozart (freshman tailback). From Christian Academy of Knoxville is Chris Cates (junior wide receiver).


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