published Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Chattanooga Mocs' line to adjust without Zach Rayl

UTC quarterback Jacob Huesman signs autographs during the Meet the Mocs gathering Saturday at the First Tennessee Pavilion.
UTC quarterback Jacob Huesman signs autographs during the Meet the Mocs gathering Saturday at the First Tennessee Pavilion.
Photo by Maura Friedman /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive line was the Mocs' deepest position for the first couple of weeks of practice. It took a hit during Friday's scrimmage.

Defensive end Zach Rayl may miss all of the 2013 season after injuring his right knee. Coach Russ Huesman said Saturday before the Mocs' final preseason camp practice that the doctors will know more about the extent of the injury in a few days.

"I'm not operating under any assumption, to be honest with you, until [the doctors] tell me," Huesman said.

The redshirt junior from Englewood, Tenn., was trying to get by backup left tackle Brandon Morgan when the injury occurred -- well away from the ball. Rayl said Friday he tried to go one way and the leg didn't budge from the turf.

Toyvian Brand, the converted defensive tackle who already has 16 career starts, was already on Rayl's heels for the starting end job opposite All-American Davis Tull. Brand, a junior, will assume the first-team role and redshirt junior Devin Scates will play behind him. Scates started two games at defensive tackle in 2011 and played in three games last season.

Huesman said he is still hoping to be able to redshirt true freshman D.J. Prather.

"Scates will be moved out there and we're trying to redshirt D.J., but we'll see how the next two weeks go," Huesman said.

Players pick captains

The Mocs' captains for the 2013 season are senior linebacker Gunner Miller, senior cornerbacks Chaz Moore and Kadeem Wise, senior right guard Kevin Revis and sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman. The captains were voted on by the players.

"If Chaz wouldn't have had a summer and a camp like he did, he probably wouldn't be sitting there as a captain right now," Coach Huesman said. "I think people saw the commitment that he's made and he got quite a few votes based on where he's progressed."

Extra points

A crowd of more than 1,200 showed up at the First Tennessee Pavilion Saturday for UTC's Meet the Mocs fan gathering for all of UTC's fall sports teams. ... The Mocs are off today and Monday.

Contact John Frierson at or 423-757-6268. Follow him at

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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