At the end of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's Blue & Gold game in April, no captains for the 2013 season were announced. It was a change from coach Russ Huesman's first four spring practices with the Mocs.
The players will vote on their captains as they have in the past, but that now will happen in August.
"I want to get through the summer and let our guys see who's working hard -- get into camp and see who's working hard," Huesman said. "I want our guys to see ... leadership will show up big time in the summertime. That's when it shows up. You've got to lead when a coach isn't telling you to lead. You've got to lead when a coach isn't around."
Huesman said the change wasn't a reaction to poor leadership by the captains in the past, and he might not do it this way again next year. He felt there was an opportunity this summer, with a large group of veteran juniors and seniors, to take the time to see who fills the leadership vacuum during the voluntary workouts.
"I want our team to see who those people are, and that's kind of why I changed it up," he said. "I felt like everybody needed to know that we're not just putting some names on pieces of paper and saying, 'You, you, you and you are captains.' If you're going to be a captain, it's because of what people have seen."
The Mocs will have plenty of players to choose from after losing just two starters on offense and defense. There are 35 juniors and seniors on the roster.
A new session of summer school begins today, and with it comes a month of intense voluntary workouts. While some players have been in town working out throughout June, about 60 players are expected to be here for the next four weeks.
Thirty-six players were at Scrappy Moore Field on Tuesday afternoon for a running session directed by strength coach Scott Brincks. In the 90-degree heat, the Mocs alternated between short and intermediate sprints for about an hour.
The players will report for preseason camp on July 30, and practice begins the next day. Huesman said three two-a-days are on the schedule. ... He said he expects everyone who missed spring practice or had offseason surgery to be healthy when preseason practice starts except for freshman offensive lineman Hunter Townson, an early enrollee from Ider, Ala., who has a shoulder issue and will redshirt.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.