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Keller Chryst shines in Vols first scrimmage of training camp

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Tennessee held its first full-pad scrimmage of fall camp Sunday inside Neyland Stadium, and first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt told reporters it was an important step of the competitive process for the Volunteers.

“There is still a lot of competition, and we have to figure it out,” Pruitt told reporters inside the Hand Digital Studio.

To that end, transfer quarterback Keller Chryst unleashed his most assertive performance of camp, per people familiar with the Vols’ 100-plus play scrimmage.

Chryst had multiple touchdown passes during the intrasquad work against both the Vols’ opening 11 and second-team defense, including a deep strike to Jordan Murphy and a connection with Brandon Johnson, who took the pass, juked a defender and outran the defense to pay dirt. Murphy, per witnesses, also had a dazzling play when he adjusted to a pass from redshirt-sophomore Jarrett Guarantano for a long gain.

Guarantano made some plays with his legs, as well.

Each quarterback was victimized by a newcomer in the Tennessee secondary on interceptions that were as much about sterling defensive efforts as anything else. Bryce Thompson picked off Chryst while Trevon Flowers snagged an interception off a Guarantano toss. Alontae Taylor and Baylen Buchanan got opening nods at cornerback per multiple people on hand.

Along the offensive front, Drew Richmond and Marcus Tatum got the opening work at the tackle spots while Brandon Kennedy continued to increase his command of the offense at the center position.

Tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson struck against the defense for a long gain, while all three tailbacks — Ty Chandler, Tim Jordan and Madre London — had some bright moments. In red-zone work, Jordan showed good burst around the edge to dance into the end zone.

VOLS ANNOUNCE KICKOFF TAILGATE

Tennessee Monday announced its official tailgate for the opening of the Pruitt Era with details for a pre-game event in Charlotte on Sept. 1 prior to the Vols’ 3:30 p.m. tilt against West Virginia inside Bank of America Stadium. UT publicized that Cedar Hill — 624 South Cedar Street — will be the host site for the tailgate, which per the release was set to run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 and noted a cash bar available until kickoff.

NEW VIDEO COORDINATOR

Donald “Don” Rawson has been tabbed to the Vols’ top video spot that was vacated in early June when industry legend Joe Harrington accepted the top spot on Jon Gruden’s video staff for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

Pruitt knew Rawson from previous stints at both Alabama and Georgia. Rawson is a very highly regarded figure in the crucial world of video technology, per industry sources.

RELATED: Previewing Vols’ defense in Jeremy Pruitt’s first season.

(You can follow John Brice on Twitter @JohnDBrice1)

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