KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Ramel Keyton has already experienced having to step up when Cedric Tillman went down with an injury last year. Now, the wide receiver is being thrust into a leadership role.

“I’m still kind of trying to work on it, but not trying to be buddy-buddy with them but more like ‘We gotta get this done.’ That’s something I’m trying to work on cause we’re all cool with each other. We can laugh and stuff like that, but when it’s time to get serious, we gotta lock-in. That’s one thing that I’m trying to work on.”

A change in attitude has wide receivers coach Kelsey Pope raving about what the senior can be this season.

“He has become a great person. He’s become a more mature kid. He’s become more accountable, and he cares about football. He’s become a way better teammate. I think that’s translated to him being able to take advantage of some opportunities on the field. He does a great job down the field just to catch it for us. This offseason, he’s done a good job of homing in on technique and more of the intermediate underneath game.”

Keyton was also asked about the transition from playing with Hendon Hooker to Joe Milton. The wide receiver says he had to turn up the pace on the jugs machine a little bit for this year.