Despite returning an experienced quarterback and a number of receivers with playing time, the Tennessee passing game has fallen short of expectations so far this season.
The receiving corp appeared to be a unit of great depth heading into the 2015 campaign but the reality is the unit has been forced to rely on two true freshmen to come in and contribute immediately.
Preston Williams, coming off a high school ACL tear, was believed to have a slow transition to college, however the true freshman had 98 receiving yards in his first ever appearance for the Vols. A hamstring injury halted Williams’ early development but was able to return to action this week.
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Back in practice for the first time this week, receiver coach Zach Azzanni recently spoke of Williams return to live action.
“He was good,” Azzanni said. “I was pleasantly surprised. Any time a freshman sits out a month right when he starts doing well, now it’s almost like you start over, unfortunately. But he actually had a really good day today, and he was into it.
“Was he where he was when he left? Not yet. But, I mean, he hasn’t played football in a month – or even practiced – so it was a good day. We’ll see how the week goes.”
Judging from his previous playing time, don’t be surprised to see Williams make a handful of plays this weekend on the road at Missouri. Some players simply have the "it" factor and this touted freshman appears to be one of those gifted players.