KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Rock Gullickson strength and conditioning effect has been evident across the Tennessee football team this spring, each position group looking stronger and fitter than they did entering last season.
Gullickson was previously the strength coach with the Los Angeles Rams before taking over the same role for the Vols this offseason.
There is one Tennessee player, however, that more than one coach has pointed out needs to get on the fitness train — defensive tackle Alexis Johnson.
Defensive line coach Brady Hoke said that Johnson needs to get in football shape, and then joked that he needed to lose some weight, too, during Tuesday’s media session.
Last week, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop emphasized that Johnson would be key, and also made mention of him not being in adequate shape.
Johnson suffered a hip injury toward the end of last season that led to a redshirt and might have affected his offseason conditioning program.
The Vols are woefully thin at defensive tackle, as Shy Tuttle is out recovering from a knee injury, and Khalil McKenzie remains limited this spring after being knocked out last season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discussed Johnson along with Coach Butch Jones’ review of Saturday’s scrimmage at Neyland Stadium.