Former Vol Leonard Little visits practice

Former Vol Leonard Little visits practice

August 22nd, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Local Regional News

Former Vol Leonard Little

Former Vol Leonard Little

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee football team had a visitor on campus for Monday's practice.

Leonard Little, who was an All-American defensive end for the Volunteers in 1997, watched Monday morning's workout and spoke with the team.

"Leonard's got his picture on the wall, he was an All-American, he was a part of one of those [championship] banners in [the indoor complex]," coach Derek Dooley said. "That's what we're playing for. He's a guy who lived it, he breathed it. I think he lost about four games in his career and then he went on to be a great NFL player, so he represents everything to me that Tennessee is all about.

"The more guys like that come back, I love it when they get in front of the team. He's been back a few times. He just showed up today and I asked him to talk to the team. All these greats, we want them back all the time. That's why they're Vols for life, and they're always welcome back here."

Dooley wasn't pleased with practice, though, calling it a "sluggish" morning.

Odds and ends

Defensive tackle Malik Jackson returned to practice after missing more than two weeks with a sprained knee.

"He was 100 percent and ripping and roaring today," Dooley said. "It was good to see him in the backfield."

Dooley also said safety Janzen Jackson has had a good preseason camp without any bad days.

"Our real No. 1 focus was making him a better tackler, and we've seen it in scrimmages," he said. "He's tackling better -- doesn't mean he's a great tackler -- but he's doing a lot better than he did last year. He still has the range in the back end to help us. We're experimenting with him at nickel some, and that's kind of new to him. He's made some progress, but what he does every day is bring great effort and energy. He's got playmaking ability."

After moving from cornerback, Naz Oliver and Anthony Anderson are figuring themselves out at receiver. Matt Milton and Zach Rogers remain out, and Dooley likes the added bodies at the position.

"Anthony, I think he might can help us," Dooley said. "He's played it, so he has that edge over Naz. So being out there doesn't faze him. He's a good athlete, he can run fast, he can catch and we need the bodies. Our challenge now is getting him up to speed to know how to line up, what to run. But I think he's going to help us. I'm glad we made that move."

Tailback Tom Smith (hyperextended knee) returned to practice in a limited fashion with a red non-contact jersey and a large brace on his left knee. Linebacker Greg King, who's battled ongoing knee issues, also returned to practice.

Tailback/receiver Rajion Neal remained out with a knee injury.