Any reps for Niko Emaleva of Tennessee ‘extremely helpful’

Joey Halzel Asked Tuesday if there is a certain number of drives or snaps that Tennessee coaches would like to have Niko Emaleva When the Vols host Austin Peay in their home opener on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

The offensive coordinator at Tennessee did not respond with any numbers for the new quarterback. At this point, any actors are good actors.

“Any kind of action a freshman can get is very helpful,” Halzel said during his press conference Tuesday.

Volume IX (1-0) hosts Austin Peay (0-1) on Saturdays at 5 p.m. ET. The game is not shown on television but can be streamed online through ESPN+ or SEC Network+.

Iamaleava, a former No. 1 prospect in the 2023 On3 recruiting rankings, made his official debut for Tennessee on Saturday in the 49-13 win over Virginia at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

He entered with 12:46 left in the fourth quarter, with the Vols leading 42-10. He caught 10 snaps in total, leading one touchdown drive while completing 2 of 3 passes for 11 yards and rushing once for eight yards.

“Getting your adrenaline high and then calming yourself down again, that’s huge.”

In week two, Halzel said it was all about getting over the novelty of playing live actors on game day at Neyland Stadium.

“First,” said Halzel, “just to get on the field in front of so many people, calm your nerves and trust your eyes. And sometimes you name a play, and you don’t even remember what the play is. It’s like, Wait, what is that? You know what I mean? Like the first time.” yours there.

“So, just getting your adrenaline high and then calming yourself down again, that’s huge.”

From there, adapt to what the opposition displays defensively.

“You’re going to get loads of pressing and covering and it would be great for everyone to see that, because that’s a huge game of eye discipline, which again whether it’s an older reserve player or a youngster,” said Halzel. The guy who comes to take his first couple of pictures, it’s a big game for him to line his eyes.”

Next: No. 9 Tennessee vs. Austin Peay, Saturday, 5 p.m. ET

Saturday’s game could be an opportunity for several Tennessee freshmen to get extended playing time, including four-star freshman linebacker Arion Carter.

Carter played 18 snaps against Virginia and made the most of his reps, finished with four tackles, tied for second on the team.

“For an AC,” defensive coordinator Tim Banks said during his press conference Tuesday, “his first chance at collegiate play, just like any freshman, there are a few things we know he’s going to continue to grow and improve at. But just getting a chance to see him Flying it was amazing.

Just like any freshman, the first game was just a starting point.

“He’s still learning,” Banks said, “but it’s just his overall athleticism, his awareness on the ball, which are hard things to teach. We think that as he continues to get reps, he continues to develop, and he has a chance to be a really good player in this league.”

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