KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media on Monday afternoon ahead of the Vols week one matchup against South Carolina.
Six takeaways from Jeremy Pruitt’s opening press conference against the Gamecocks:
- Tennessee is still waiting on a decision on Cade Mays eligibility from the SEC.
“We’ve got no indication as of yet, I’m sure that they will it makes too much sense not to,” Pruitt said. “We’ve planned all along for Cade to be able to play. If you look at what went into the waiver process it’s pretty evident that the young man needs an opportunity to play – or deserves an opportunity to play.”
- The Vols will play 70 guys on Saturday (the full travel roster).
“You only get to travel 70 guys, so the 70 that you take they need to be able to contribute whether that’s on special teams or on defense,” Pruitt said. “The guys that we travel; we’ll play 70 guys on Saturday.”
- The Vols will not be releasing the number of players unavailable to participate (due to COVID-19 protocols) throughout the season.
“When it comes to what our numbers will be for Saturday I’m not sure that it’s fair for the kids that are going to play to release that just from a competitive standpoint,” Pruitt said. “We’re not going to release each week the exact numbers.”
- Tennessee has yet to name their backup quarterback heading into their season opener.
“We’ll make a decision (on a backup quarterback) heading into the next couple of days and see who gives us the best opportunity,” Pruitt said. “With Harrison (Bailey) and Brian (Maurer) both of those guys have missed practices for different reasons during fall camp, so J.T. (Shrout) has obviously had the opportunity to take more reps but we’re giving both of those guys a chance.”
- Tennessee still doesn’t have a starting tight end.
“There’s still three or four guys that we’re working there,” Pruitt said. “We’ll see how this week goes, we’ll obviously settle on somebody for the game, a one a two, but that’s going to be a position that we’re going to continue to challenge and create competition. That’s a good thing because we’ve got competition there so the guys continue to push each other.”
- Running back Carlin Fils-aime is sitting out this year.
“Carlin graduated this summer, and he’s sitting out this season,” Pruitt said. “He possibly may come back in January, but we’ve yet to decide that yet, and when that time comes, we’ll get together and decide that. But he’s a guy that has done everything we’ve asked him to do as a player since I’ve been here. Unfortunately, he’s had some injuries that’s kept him off the field but has been a great student, role model, good teammate, and we would love to have him back, for sure.”