Sports Writer

With under a week left until the UT football season kicks off against

Wyoming, the Volunteers are still looking to answer a few questions about

some key positions.

On Saturday, UT head coach Philip Fulmer took a big step in answering one

of those questions when he announced that senior Robert Loudermilk will

begin the season as the Volunteer place-kicker. The announcement comes

after the Vols wrapped up their annual kicking practice, brushing up on

their special teams and the kicking game in particular.

"Robert Loudermilk has moved ahead for the job right now," Fulmer

said.

"He is probably going to be named our No. 1 guy right away. He has shown

good consistency and we think he'll do a good job for us."

Although Loudermilk seems to have a leg up in the place-kicking race,

Fulmer says that others have looked good in practice and are still being

looked at for the position.

"Alex Walls is going to give him good competition," Fulmer said, "and I am

not discouraged by the progress of the other guys, Chip Walters and Steven

Lee."

Loudermilk is happy with the position he is in and knows that he and the UT

special teams will do well once given the opportunity to step on the

field.

"I am anxious to get things going," Loudermilk said. "I am confident in my

ability... it's just a matter of getting out there and doing it on the

field."

Loudermilk, a senior from Brentwood, said that despite the kicking unit's

lack of game experience, they are ready to play.

"I have worked with Kevin (Gregory) and (Benson) Scott for a couple of

years now," Loudermilk said. "We feel like we are ready to go out and get

the job done."

"We have a good kicking situation here right now," Fulmer said. "Next thing

we're going to do is see how they do in the game."

Fulmer called the Saturday kicking practice very important for several

reasons.

"It was a very important day for us," Fulmer said. "We come out and that's

all we meet about, all we think about, all we work on. It also gives the

kids a chance to get their legs back a little bit and get ready for next

week."

The Vols' legs will be getting a heavy workout this week, as the team will

engage in a full week of practice in preparation for the opener Saturday

against Wyoming.