KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee football hit the practice field Monday afternoon for the inaugural practice of the 2020 fall camp as the SEC forges on with its season beginning on September 26th. Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media via zoom following Monday’s Practice.
Six takeaways from Jeremy Pruitt’s first day of fall camp press conference:
- 23 players have tested positive for Covid-19 since returning to campus in June.
“The first time we tested, we had zero,” Pruitt said. “Over the period of time we’ve been back, we’ve had 23 total. There was lots of lessons for us to learn in there. We gave our guys an eight-day break around the Fourth of July. So they had a chance to go home. That was the point in time we thought the season was going to start on time. So we wanted to give them a chance to be able to spend time with their family. And we had some guys come back that tested positive. But I believe our positivity rate is slightly under 2 percent. So Dr. Klenck and our guys have really done a nice job of exercising the protocol that we have in place here. And we’ve learned a lot of lessons from our team. There’s not been any contact tracing that’s been within our building. It’s all come from outside our building. So we’ve got to do a better job when we’re out and about in public. I think it’s something that we learned right after the Fourth of July.”
- The NCAA has denied Offensive Tackle Cade Mays’ (Georgia transfer) immediate eligibility, Tennessee is in the process of appealing.
“It’s frustrating to me, for Cade,” Pruitt said. “Just looking at it for his sake, a guy that, to me I think he was a really good player at Georgia and I don’t know how he did there, but I know playing against him I thought he was one of the better players in the league. I thought he played the right way. The circumstances surrounding him and his family, something that he had no control over. When you look at a young man, once he transfers, going through the process of now is he going to be eligible? There’s a lot that goes into that. He’s sitting there with this case looming. Does that affect where he’s at on the depth chart? Does that affect anything that goes on around him? It’s an unusual circumstance.”
- Jeremy Banks was back on the practice field with Tennessee (Banks was dismissed from the team last October, but remained enrolled in classes).
“Jeremy has done a fantastic job over the last nine months,” Pruitt said. “He’s really been an inspiration to me. You know, for 10 minutes, or 20 minutes, last year, the 20 minutes Jeremy would love to have back. We removed him from the football team and he didn’t want to leave. He said, ‘Coach, I came to Tennessee to get a degree. I’ve embarrassed myself and my family. And the only way I can get that back is staying here and that’s something I would like to do.’ And we put a plan in place and he’s followed everything that we’ve asked him to do. I’m proud of him, where he’s at. Making A’s and B’s. Really getting involved in the community. We’re excited that he’s back and looking forward to him getting a second chance.”
- Defensive Back Baylen Buchanan will sit out the 2020 season for medical reasons.
“It’s something he’s working hard to rehab with,” Pruitt said. “He’ll continue to do that.”
- Freshman Jimmy Holiday will play wide receiver this season.
“It is something he wanted to do,” Pruitt explained. “He felt like he would have an opportunity to get on the field faster there. He is a guy you could jump in there at quarterback and he is still taking some snaps there.”
- Sophomore Quavaris Crouch has moved to inside linebacker.
“That is probably his most natural position,” Pruitt said. “He has the ability to rush on third down. It is one of those deals. Last year he played inside and outside, but predominately outside. We like to recruit guys that can play all four positions and he is a guy that fits that mold.”