Malik Foreman 'more comfortable' and making plays for Vols

Tennessee defensive back Malik Foreman (13) forces a fumble by South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams (89) to clinch Tennessee's 27-24 win at an NCAA college football game in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)

KNOXVILLE - It was only a couple of weeks ago that Malik Foreman's starting job with Tennessee's defense appeared to be in jeopardy.

After he was pulled in favor of freshman Micah Abernathy in the second half of the win at Kentucky, Foreman's coaches spoke openly about the competition the following week at the nickel cornerback position.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Foreman since has played two of the best games of his junior season, and he'll try to make it three when Tennessee plays at Missouri on Saturday night.

"For Malik, when we first moved him, he was practicing outside," defensive coordinator John Jancek said this week. "He wasn't practicing at any of the nickel positions, so I think there was a little bit of a transition there for him. I think he's made a couple of plays, and now he's becoming more comfortable and playing with a lot of confidence right now."