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Vols open preseason practice on campus

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 11:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It’s been a most strange and unusual off-season, but maybe a little normalcy Monday with head coach Jeremy Pruitt leading his volunteers out onto the Haslam field for the first preseason practice of the year. ”Is it completely normal? Probably not. You’ve had to have your temperature checked and you had mask on in the locker room and your social distancing. All of the things we have to do better. It’s part of the current new new norm, if you will, but that new norm because they’ve done it the right way for a long time gotten them to today to football on the field in August. I think that’s something that excites the coaches, excites the players and the fans, and it creates optimism that maybe this is gonna work,” said Brent Hubbs of Volquest.com.

And at work with the team this afternoon was No.33, Linebacker Jeremy Banks, back with the squad and as happy as anyone was head coach Jeremy Pruitt, ”He said coach, I came to Tennessee to get a degree, I’ve embarrassed myself and my family. He’s followed everything we’ve asked him to do, I’m proud of him, he’s getting A’s and B’s and really getting involved in the community so we’re excited he’s back and getting a second chance.”

While that news was positive, upsetting to the coach was the NCAA denying lineman Cade Mays immediate eligibility. Pruitt says UT will appeal on behalf of the former Georgia lineman. Also unhappy by that decision was fellow lineman Trey Smith, who tweeted about his displeasure with the NCAA’s decision.

Also on the downside, coach Pruitt announced that cornerback Baylen Buchanan will sit out the season with a medical issue. Speaking of health, coach Pruitt said since June, 23 players have tested positive for Covid-19, but only a few missed today’s work while being quarantined.

Pruitt says his players will continue to be tested for the virus once a week and then twice a week once the season starts. All in all, the third year Vols head coach was pleased with practice, the play of his quarterbacks and the excitement of his guys about being back in the practice field, ”Our team has worked hard since June 8th preparing for this opportunity , it was good to see them get out there and compete a little bit, do they want to play, absolutely they want to play, but the number one thing for us is to make sure we protect the people around us and that will never change.”

Pruitt’s Vols working towards what is now a September 26th opener at South Carolina. You can check out the entire revised 2020 football schedule for the Big Orange inside this WVLT app.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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