Seniors reflect on their time in Knoxville, look ahead to Missouri

Josh Dobbs speaks on what his last game in Neyland will be like.

For ten Tennessee seniors, Saturday will be their last game in Neyland Stadium.

No more running out of the 'T.'

No more Rocky Top.

No more Big Orange. That is, as a player at least.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to hit me," admitted defensive end Corey Vereen, "when we're done with all of our games."

Vereen, said it's the atmosphere that he'll remember the most.

"The crowd noise, the wins, the tough losses, unfortunately. Definitely the crowd noise and just the energy from the fans, year in, and year out."

Staying on the defensive line, LaTroy Lewis is a redshirt senior, so he's had a little more time to make East Tennessee his home. He founded a non-profit organization, Project Elevate, right here in Knoxville. It's designed to help mentor young children.

"In five years, Knoxville has become another home," said Lewis. "I've spent more holidays here than I have in Ohio. It's a big part of my life now and a foundation of who I am."

Quarterback Josh Dobbs knows it too.

"The time flew by," he said, "It's been enjoyable, right now I'm just trying to keep things in perspective." 

How's this for perspective? The senior captain has so many Tennessee Football records, it's hard to keep track of them all. Chances are, if it involves a quarterback running, he's got it. Just last weekend against Kentucky, Dobbs ran for a record 26th rushing touchdown in his Vol career. But that career is almost over.

"Walking on the field last week," Dobbs said, "it was like, we only have one more game in here. That was probably the first time it really hit me."

And for the first time since his sophomore year, Dobbs will get a chance to run out of the 'T.' Captains are normally out on the field for the coin toss while all the pregame events are happening.

"I think it'll be awesome, I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited for it."

NOTES FROM THE REST OF THE DAY:

The players were asked a lot about the LSU and Florida game this Saturday. It essentially decides the SEC East. If Florida loses, Tennessee is in control of their destiny. In that situation, if the Vols were to finish out, beating Missouri and Vanderbilt, they would win the SEC East title, getting a second chance at the Crimson Tide. A Florida win however clinches the division for the Gators.

The players don't sound like they'll be keeping track of the score during the game.

"We can control what we can control," said Lewis. "Hope for a good outcome for us in Baton Rouge, but we're really focused on getting this win in Knoxville this weekend."

Dobbs agreed.

"We've got to take care of business. That score won't mean anything if we don't take care of business on Saturday."

But perhaps, Corey Vereen said it best.

"Our focus is on Missouri. Ain't nothing going to happen unless we beat Missouri."

But for those of you who don't have to play for the Vols on Saturday, Florida and LSU kickoff at 1 p.m. on SEC Network.

 


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