KNOXVILLE — Derek Dooley apparently thinks as highly of JerQuari Schofield as his predecessor did.
Schofield, considered by former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin as one of the nation’s top offensive line signees last season, has become a respected redshirt freshman guard under Dooley.
Dooley praised the 6-foot-6, 331-pound Schofield on Sunday.
“Schofield is really having a great camp,” Dooley said. “You watch his progress, and that’s where you see it. He starts to understand things and play with better technique, and he’s a big guy. He’s going to be a really good football player.
“He’s probably playing the best up front right now as anybody.”
Schofield, like many offensive lineman, is hesitant to discuss his individual performance. But he didn’t hesitate one bit when asked about the line as a unit.
“Practice is going well,” he said. “We’re getting everything together and just working. Right now, everything they’re throwing at us, we’ve pretty much gotten it done. I feel like we can do everything pretty well.”
Sophomore linebacker Greg King said Sunday his injured knee was merely a hyperextension, and he expected to return to practice “very soon.”
Sophomore safety Janzen Jackson said his sore hamstring “has pretty much been 100 percent the past two days,” but that coaches kept holding him out for precautionary purposes. He said he would “definitely” return to practice today.
Junior cornerback Anthony Anderson said his scary-looking neck injury during Saturday night’s scrimmage was “just a strained muscle,” and that he hoped to return to practice this week.
“I was just praying I could move my hands, because I went numb for about five seconds,” said Anderson, a former standout at Knoxville’s Austin-East High School. “I didn’t know if I could get up, but they kept calling my name, and I came back. The only thing you’re worried about is if you can get up and move and can you talk, because it knocks the breath out of you.
“But I’m good now. It might be a day or two, but I’m good.”
Highly-rated safety Pat Martin from Greenville, S.C., went public with his commitment to the Vols on Sunday, becoming their 14th known pledge for the class of 2011.
The 5-11, 195-pound Martin, is a four-star prospect according to Rivals and ESPN, and Scout considers him a three-star. He chose the Vols over South Carolina but also had offers from LSU, Oklahoma, UCLA, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Mississippi State and more than 10 other programs.
Martin said he’s been a private commit “for a little bit” but wanted to go public before his senior season starts.
“Tennessee is a great place, and Coach Dooley is a great coach, so it was an easy choice,” Martin said. “Other schools have kept recruiting me, and they’re all good schools, but it’s been Tennessee for a while.
“We’re going to be back up there with Florida and Alabama. I know Coach Dooley will get us there.”
Other contacts for Wes Rucker are www.twitter.com/wesrucker and www.facebook.com/tfpvolsbeat.