Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings is not only back as a part of the football Vols, but he's doing what head coach Jeremy Pruitt has asked him to do up to this point. He's checking all the boxes.
"We are going day-by-day," Pruitt said. "Right now it's really irrelevent because of the injury that he has and he's getting his treatment."
The injury that Pruitt is talking about is a standard knee clean up to have him fully healthy for fall camp. That small procedure will sideline Jennings for spring practice as he works on doing all that Pruitt has asked to get back on the field.
"He's just rehabbing his knee," Pruitt said. "He had a little knee scope done and right now he is doing everything we have asked him to do."
Pruitt also added that he couldn't check the boxes if he wasn't a part of the team and that includes spending time around his teammates and coaches.
"He's part of the team. We are giving him an opportunity to do what he needs to do to have success in the future."
Also still amongst the team is freshman All-American Trey Smith. Volquest was the first to report the Jackson, Tennessee native would miss spring due to some recent health issues. Pruitt confirmed that Smith will be out for spring, but didn't dive to deep into any speculation about where things stand with the anchor of the offensive line.
"Trey's had some personal health issues," Pruitt said. "Just getting some information and there isn't a whole lot of information yet, but we will know more going forward."
Pruitt confirmed that his sophomore lineman hasn't been completely shut down due to the health issues.
"Like Thursday, he was in there working out."
It's obviously a positive sign that Smith is still going through off-season conditioning with his team.
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
In just over a week, Tennessee will hit Haslam practice field for their first work between the white lines under Pruitt. They'll do so with some players trying out their hands at new positions.
"We have several guys that are going to work at different spots for the first half of spring," Pruitt said. "Then see where it's at and then give them another spot if they don't feel comfortable. I'll give you some examples, Jay Blakely is going to work at tight end for the first seven practices and we will see where he's at and he will possibly move back to defense. Tyler Byrd is going to work somewhere in the secondary for the first seven days and then we will re-evaluate. Carlin Fils-Amie is going to work at corner for the first seven days."
Tennessee will likely also give Theo Jackson a look at different spots in the secondary. They will also use their defensive linemen in different roles with some of the defensive ends from last year's scheme playing some standup outside linebacker. That's typical of the 3-4 defense.
OLD SCHOOL SPRING GAME
The spring game in recent years has looked more like an NBA All-Star game on the scoreboard with the modified scoring system. Players got points for just about any reason you could possibly imagine. That doesn't appear to the be case for Pruitt, as the first-year coach hopes to survive spring and do a traditional setup game.
"Hopefully it will be a game," Pruitt said. "What I'm accustomed to is the #1 defense being with the #2 offense and the #1 offense is on a team with the #2 defense, so the 1s play against the 1s and the 2s play against the 2s."
The Dish Orange and White game is set for April 21st at 2 p.m.