Volunteers QB Crompton: 'It tested me'

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton apparently felt some significant heat of his own last year as the Volunteers lost seven games for only the second time in the program's history, in a season that saw the ouster of 17-year coach Phillip Fulmer.

Crompton received at least two e-mailed death threats during his junior season, the player told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The problem was brought to his parents' attention after a package they received had slanderous messages scrawled on the box.

"That's when my parents started talking about it," Crompton said, according to the newspaper.

Crompton said he never reported the threats to the school.

He also stayed quiet when he began to receive harassing phone calls after his cell number was made public on the Internet.

"It was tough, I'm not going to lie," he said. "When you're faced with adversity, your true character comes out -- as a person, as a student, as a Christian.

"It tested me."

The Volunteers replaced Fulmer with Lane Kiffin in November, two days after they ended the 5-7 season with a victory over Kentucky.

Kiffin offered a vote of confidence for Crompton, who finished last season with 889 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions on 51.5 percent passing.

"Jonathan has done a great job with the transition," Kiffin said in an e-mail to the News Sentinel. "He's taken a very professional approach to learning and studying the offense.

"I'm not concerned about previous play at any of our positions, including quarterback. Jonathan did a great job in the spring and we look forward to continued improvement."