UT BLOG: Stocker off to slow start

KNOXVILLE - Luke Stocker's senior season hasn't started like he wanted.

It also hasn't started like the University of Tennessee football team needed.

Stocker, a 6-foot-6, 253-pound tight end, is one of the Volunteers' most experienced players and most noted NFL prospects. The Kentucky native could have left for the league after his junior season, but he and fiancé Daine Karst opted for one more year at UT.

Catching three passes for 19 yards - and just one pass for 2 yards from starting quarterback Matt Simms - through two games isn't the start Stocker, his coaches, teammates and UT fans had in mind.

The Times Free Press caught up with Stocker after UT's Monday practice, and the senior sounded off on several topics, including his slow start, his sore shoulder and his hope to beat 10th-ranked Florida for the first time in his five-year career.

LUKE