The best example of talent development was the growth of quarterback Jonathan Crompton. After wandering in the wilderness in 2008 and struggling in September, he blossomed beginning with the
Running back Montario Hardesty remained healthy enough to stay on the field all season, and he delivered big time. He gained more than 1,300 yards, but perhaps more importantly, he was a good mentor for young runners like Bryce Brown and David Oku. Hardesty showed them the amount of hard work and commitment it will take for them to succeed in the SEC.
The season itself had moments of greatness and frustration. The 45-19 waxing of
The most frustrating game was the 19-15 loss to UCLA. The offense had no mojo, and it cost us the game. There is no question in my mind that if we had played them in late October we would have won by two touchdowns. I know; I'm experiencing the bitter taste of sour grapes.
So, 2009 was a small step forward for the Volunteers. Let's hope a larger one is coming in 2010.