Quotes: Morris, Hyatt, Baron Media Availability

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 07, 2020 – Quarterback Harrison Bailey #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Tennessee Volunteers at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, AR. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Player Quotables

Wanya Morris, OL – So.

On the offensive struggles coming out of halftime…

“That’s something that we all talked about as a group. It’s something that we have to get better at – coming out of halftime and executing. As a team, there’s not much you can say about that. You have to put your head down and work, regroup and get better.”

 

On the offensive line’s offseason experience with COVID-19 contact tracing and the challenge of building chemistry within the group…

“It was definitely frustrating, but you can’t really complain about it because every team is going through the same thing that we went through. As an offensive line, you try to keep in touch as much as you can, to keep that bond. As an offensive line, you have to play together. It’s not and individual player and if one looks bad, we all look bad.”

 

On how the offensive line has grown since last season…

“We’re closer than we were last year, even though last year we didn’t have the circumstances we have now. I feel like that (unusual circumstances with COVID-19) brought us together because we knew we would have to have that bond. Everybody had to be on the same page. For me, I feel like I’m way more mature than I was last year. I have a better understanding of the game and I know what I need to get better at. I’m not just out there playing and not trying to mess up. I have more of a ‘go get it’ mentality.”

 

On how Tennessee can get off to a good start on Saturday versus Texas A&M…

“After the disappointing loss, everybody’s ready to come to work. We came in Sunday saying, ‘What are we going to do about it?’ We’ve got to change something. We have to go out there and execute and finish. In practice this week, I expect everybody to come with their top game, especially me. If I’m lacking, somebody tell me. If somebody else is lacking, tell them. We have to be on each other constantly in order to get each other better. That’s the goal this week: Get each other better so we can go out there and execute on Saturday.”

 

On how he has grown in terms of the way he worked in practice, since his freshman season…

“As a freshman, I came in here knowing I would have to work, but not knowing how much. This year, I understood that time is ticking. Time isn’t going to wait for you, and neither is anybody else. So, while I’m over there sitting down, somebody else is working. I learned to get extra reps at practice and after practice and get in the weight room more. I look at it with a different perspective, like it’s the game. We’ve got to go into practice thinking, ‘this is going to happen in the game, so let me get my body used to these movements.’”

 

On if he feels that the sophomores on this team need to take on larger leadership roles…

“Everybody is a leader on this team. Everybody has a say because everybody gives input on this team. It doesn’t matter if it’s us as sophomores, freshmen, juniors or seniors. Everybody has a role on this team and is expected to speak up and get on somebody if they have to, or just step up and talk to the team if they have to. Everyone’s expected to be a leader.”

 

Jalin Hyatt, WR – Fr.

On hearing Coach Pruitt say they need to throw the ball more down field…

 “You like to hear that from a receiver standpoint. You try to do the best for your team and for Coach Pruitt, and whatever he says I’m going to do.”

 

On how different preparation was this offseason coming into college as a freshman and what his dad helped with being his coach…
“Before I got here with COVID going on, just staying on the field, just being prepared to come to Tennessee. When I got here, what I had to learn about is it’s definitely a different ballgame. You have to have stronger hands, you have to be stronger on the field, more physical. I had to learn that when I got here and definitively learned it in fall camp.”

 

On if there was a time growing up he realized he was faster than everyone else…

“My eighth-grade year I was very slow, but my ninth-grade year, I started getting in the weight room and I guess my body started forming up. I went to a regional opening and that was my first time running a 40 and that time I ran a 4.4, so I knew I had confidence after that. The next time I ran a 40 it went down to a 4.31, and then the last time I ran it, it was a 4.29. When I knew I started running those times my confidence got higher and I knew I was faster than everybody else.”

 

On how much time the wide receivers spend before and after practice with the quarterbacks…

“We try to do it before practice, just in film and really scouting the secondary so you know their flaws and their weaknesses and strengths. After practice from a receiver’s point we just try to catch balls and catch as many as we can. With the quarterback and receiver relationship, we have a great relationship. I trust all the quarterbacks and I just can’t wait to go and play Texas A&M.”

 

On the issues the team is having in the second half and his thoughts on the progress of QB Harrison Bailey…

“The problems with the second half is self-explanatory. We just have to be more explosive. We need to come out and act like the first half didn’t happen and come out the second half 0-0. That’s the mindset we have to have coming out of halftime.

 

“With Harrison Bailey, he came in my recruiting class and I am very proud of him. He is like a close brother to me and he definitely is going to have success in the future, and I can’t wait to play with him and it’s going to be fun.”

 

On how comfortable he is in playing in each of the wide receiver positions…

“I am very comfortable in it, but right now I love where I am at. The slot has more space you can work with and when it is man, you can do more work in the slot. I love the outside. I played outside in high school, but slot is probably my favorite position right now.

 

On how he would rate himself as a route runner…

“You always have to put in work, and right now I can improve in everything. So, my route running, I’m happy about it, but I definitely know I can improve in it. Just improve and that’s it.”

 

Tyler Baron, LB – Fr.

On what the biggest challenge was in transitioning from high school to college football…

“The biggest difference for me is the level of physicality. In high school, there were a lot of times where we were playing a lesser opponent. Up here, everybody’s good and everybody’s here for a reason. Being consistent in all of the technical things has been the biggest thing for me. Based off the success I’ve had this year, it’s a blessing. But I still feel that they are a lot of areas that I need to improve in and touch up to have even more success.”

 

On the mental adjustment of playing in college football…

“It’s been huge for me – spending extra time with my coaches and learning the game. Coming from high school, it was kind of see ball, get ball. Here, recognizing formations and the depth of the back to know what you’re going to get before the ball is snapped has been huge. A lot of my success is from having time to see formations and small things like that that can help you.”

 

On what he’s been working on as an outside linebacker…

“Hand placement is a huge one, but ball get-off is another thing I work on every day, as well as being able to recognize things. Coming in as a freshman, this game is a lot bigger than high school and a lot different. I’m just trying to learn how to play in this league and be successful here.”

 

On how his body has transformed since arriving at Tennessee…

“I think A.J. (Artis) and his guys on the strength staff have done and incredible job. I feel like in all of my workouts, I get stronger every single day. It’s helped me stay healthy and I really do appreciate them. I feel like being a bigger guy, it helps me take on the blocks, but there’s still so many things I can improve on – block shedding, recognizing the blocks that I’m getting and transitioning in the pass rush quicker. The list goes on of things I can improve on.”

 

On what it meant to play meaningful snaps and get two tackles early on in Tennessee’s season opener…

“It was a blessing to be able to go in and help my team make those two stops on those two different drives. It’s been a great opportunity for me and I’m just thankful that the coaches trust me enough, from my practice habits, to put me in the game on those meaningful downs. It’s been great to go out there and help this team be successful.”

-UT Athletics

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