Tennessee was back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon, as they prepare for their game against Vanderbilt. The Vols are looking to snap a six game losing streak, as they only have two regular season games remaining.
“I know they’re excited about this weekend. Had three really good days of practice and (we’re) ready to go to Nashville.”
The Vols are coming off a loss to Florida and played three different quarterbacks against the Gators. The conversation around that position has ramped up even further this week, as Jeremy Pruitt looks to get both Harrison Bailey and JT Shrout playing time. In all likelihood, Bailey will end up getting the start, with Shrout coming off the bench. Brian Maurer did play this past weekend, but just in certain situations.
Jeremy Pruitt was asked how the quarterback reps are being split up this week, as he looks to name a starter.
“They’re taking the same amount of reps with the ones and the twos, both of them. I feel like we’ve had really good tempo. Seems to be some confidence there. The more reps they get, they’re going to continue to improve and I think they’ve done a nice job.”
I asked Pruitt if he had any intentions of playing Dee Beckwith this weekend against Vanderbilt. Beckwith has been getting some runs with the backups this week, behind Gray and Chandler.
“Yeah, absolutely. Dee’s (Beckwith) been getting a lot of reps and Jabari Small. Jabari got injured down at Auburn during warmups. Both of these guys are back. Dee’s a guy that really missed all of summer and fall camp, (but) he’s a guy the more reps he takes the better he’s getting. He played on special team last week and he’ll continue to see an increased role.”
Pruitt also mentioned that Tennessee didn’t have any covid problems during their last round of testing.
Something that has been interesting to follow over the past few weeks is the recruiting. The early signing period is next Wednesday and with the Vols having to continue preparing for games, it’s been non stop for this staff.
“It’s really interesting. If you look at the SEC, there are some teams that have finished playing. For 10 days leading up to signing day, they obviously have an advantage not working on opponents. Some teams have been out for one week, some for two and some of us that are playing the entire time. I don’t know any time in my career that I have taken my cell phone to practice, but over the last 10 days I have done that a few times just expecting phone calls and things like that based off being able to continue to recruit and coach the football team. It has been very unusual circumstances for sure.”
This is a very big game for Tennessee, for many reasons. Jeremy Pruitt cannot afford a loss to the commodores, especially from a public perception standpoint, which is already dwindling.
Tennessee will be back on the practice field Thursday afternoon, as they wrap up their preparation for this weekend.
Stay tuned to FOX Sports Knoxville for continuing coverage of the 2020 season.