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Nick Reveiz, left, congratulates teammates during the Vols' win Saturday.:: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nick Reveiz wasn't the most popular freshman in Tennessee's football program. In 2006, the walk-on linebacker from Knoxville angered the Volunteers' offensive line starters nearly every day. The reason? He played too hard on scout team.

"You hit guys hard, and the guys get mad at you because you're scout team," said Reveiz, whose father, Fuad, kicked for Tennessee before embarking on an 11-year NFL career. "You're not supposed to do that. You're not supposed to be any good. It felt like I was doing something wrong at first because all the o-linemen were mad at me. I learned later on that that's just part of it. People don't like to get hit in the mouth. So I just kept doing it."

Vols coaches noticed. The 5-foot-10 Reveiz, who turned down a scholarship offer to Division II Carson-Newman to walk on at Tennessee, kept on hitting during his first spring practice, and he earned playing time on special teams as a redshirt freshman. The following season, he earned a scholarship. "I was trying to hold back a smile and be a tough guy, but I really couldn't," he said.

This season, Reveiz is a captain and the Vols' starting middle linebacker. That means that every day, he has scout team offensive linemen trying to make their names by hitting him in the mouth. "It's funny," Reveiz said. "You understand both sides of it. A lot of times, your reaction is, 'This is a scout team guy. What's he doing?' But then I get a flash back to my first year. … Anytime someone pops me or hits me pretty good, I just pop them on the butt and say good job."

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