Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt met with the media on Tuesday evening following the Vols 8th practice of Fall Camp 2020.
The Vols are battling through some COVID and injury problems, but are on track for the week. The South Carolina game time was announced earlier today. 7:30 PM kickoff to the season is just weeks away.
Pruitt discussed the offensive line, by saying “I feel like our OL improves every day.” So, the Vols continue to chip away at finding the right five guys that will work as a unit.
One thing that has been interesting to watch over the past few weeks is the guys who might have to fill in for an injured or sick player. When discussing this, Pruitt said “We’ve already done some things, play a few guys on both sides of the ball. We use defensive players as tight ends in short-yardage situations. We’ve definitely talked about having an emergency guy at a position.”
The running back tandem of Ty Chandler and Eric Gray continues to get praise in the few early weeks of Fall camp. On Tuesday, Pruitt discussed the guys fighting for playing time behind them, “Tee Hodge and Jabari Small have been really steady as freshmen. They have a lot to learn, but both guys are good competitors and smart. They’ve got good hands and are instinctive. They’ll both play this year.”
It’s no secret if you’ve been following along with our notes that two players along the Tennessee defensive line have been standing out, and Jeremy Pruitt let that be known today. He discussed that today, “The one guy who I think has had really good practices every day is Latrell Bumphus. Mathew Butler is another guy.”
These two are pushing for playing time upfront, so it’s good to see Pruitt call them out by name this evening.
It’s not mind-blowing to think that players are potentially having difficult days getting adjusted back into the football grind, I mean they’re 18-22 young men, who wouldn’t. But, Jeremy Pruitt has put it on himself and staff to be more accountable for their players, saying “Relationship with our players, overcoming adversity whether it’s inside or outside the building will be huge this year”.
These are still young guys, going through the wringer of college life, plus football.
The Vols had a scare when it came to COVID last week, having a number of players test positive or have to quarantine because of exposure. But, after getting the test results back on Friday, he felt good enough with the results to get back on the practice field Saturday night. “We definitely had a lot more than we wanted, so we tested again Friday. We felt good about the results so we practiced on Saturday.”
Tennessee will be off on Wednesday, but we will have an opportunity to speak with assistant coaches, so stay tuned.