MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tigers football camp ended Sunday with position battles still raging on and depth chart questions still left to answer.
But with 11 days left before their Sept. 3 season opener at Mississippi State, there is no question around South Campus: It's go time.
"Let's go, it's on," Ryan Silverfield said. "We don't have time to have a bad practice. You never do, even in January. But our guys have this sense that, it's here."
The Tigers hope to avoid a running back by committee situation like last year. While Ryan Silverfield mentioned seven different backs at Tuesday's news conference, he is leaning towards Brandon Thomas as his Week One starter.
"We have every right to challenge the way our running game was towards the end of the year, but when Brandon Thomas was in the game, we were a little bit different," he said. "Brandon Thomas has shown that he's capable of being a starting running back. So maybe that's the direction we're headed."
The assumption is that Javon Ivory will be the Tigers top receiving target in 2022. Silverfield offered that redshirt senior Eddie Lewis is likely to start alongside him.
"He's had a fantastic camp," he said. "I think Eddie Lewis is going to be one of those starters. I don't think he gets enough praise from myself included. Without sounding corny, steady Eddie. He’s been reliable. He’s been healthy. He’s been able to show up day in and day out. (He) does what we ask in the blocking game. He’s been fantastic.”
"We've got a lot of depth in the room," Ivory said. "A lot of different style type players. You've got some speed. It's just a whole lot that can be done this year."
Coming off a 6-6 season, the Tigers hope to re-establish the standard set for the program over the last decade.
"No one is going to have higher expectations for the program than myself," Silverfield said. "The players have great standards that they want to hold for themselves, and I love it. I don't want to come out here and say hey guys let's just see if we can go 6-6. No. Let's go out there and compete our asses off and see if we can get this thing where we can compete for a championship."