A couple of Vols are morphing into their positions

Marcus Tatum, #68 in front left, has beefed up to 285 pounds. He wants to add about 10 more before the season begins. Photo: WTVC

The Tennessee Vols have only four practices left.

NewsChannel 9 made the trek to Knoxville to check in on the the Vols as spring practice winds down.

Linebacker Austin Smith is back in his natural position.

Smith said, "Wherever the team needs me, I really don't care. I'm just doing it for my team. I love my team a whole lot. We have a thing called "Family." Forget About Me, I Love You. So, if the team needs me at safety, D-tackle, I really don't care, I'm just doing it for the team."

The redshirt sophomore came in at 230 pounds, beefed up to 260 to play on the D-line and is now back to 235 at the linebacker slot.

Smith said the coaches felt he was better there. "They're (coaches) very player friendly, like freshman year to this year, just maturing on my part and just ready to go, to be honest and make a difference for this team and have a great season."

As the Vols move into this last week of spring practice, many of the players have grown into their positions. For Marcus Tatum, that is literal.

Tatum played in two games last year at about 265 pounds.

The sophomore has added about 20 pounds and wants to play at 295. "I just feel a lot better because going against them like Kongbo, he's a really big guy and like last year he outweighed me by like 20 pounds, so I'm now like a little heavier than him. More solidified if he goes with the bull rush because he's a very talented player," Tatum said.

It's quite simple how he filled out.

"Bread, chicken, protein shakes, water, sleep, lift, repeat."

When asked if he ate before bed, Tatum replied, "Oh yes sir. Last night I had four pb&j's before bed."


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