Bituli out while recovering from knee procedure

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- On Senior linebacker Daniel Bituli not practicing of late, head coach Jeremy Pruitt said, "We did a little procedure on him to clean his knee up a little bit. He’ll be out anywhere from 10-17 days. We did it in the early part of this week to alleviate the pain a little bit.” Bituli is being counted on as leader for the 2019 Tennessee football squad. Bituli enters his final season as Tennessee's active career leader in tackles with 178 stops over 33 career games. He has led Tennessee in tackles the last two seasons, becoming only the 11th Vol in history to accomplish that feat.
The Tennessee football team worked out in full pads on Friday afternoon for practice on the indoor fields as severe weather forced the Vols inside the Anderson Training Center.

With the season-opener eight days away, UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt continues to present different scenarios at practice in an effort to keep things fresh.

"We've mixed it up every day at practice and tried to present a lot of different circumstances, scenarios and situational football," said Pruitt. "Every practice is different, it's kind of kept them on their toes a little bit. We have a young team, so guys should be excited about the opportunity to play and get better every day."

Coach Pruitt has also continued to find ways to put his best players on the field, including sophomore Jeremy Banks, who has practiced at linebacker in recent days, transitioning from running back.

"We just want to play our best players," Pruitt said. "In my opinion Jeremy is one of our best players. He's in the rotation at running back so we can let him share the load with three other guys or he can have an opportunity to play every snap on defense. So, we're going to let him play defense at least for the next couple of weeks for sure."

Pruitt noted the addition of Maryland transfer quarterback Kasim Hill to the roster who brings notable FBS-level experience.

"He's a guy that wanted to walk on and have an opportunity to compete and participate and it's hard to find guys that want to do that who have started games in major college football," Pruitt said.

Hill saw action in 13 games during his two seasons with the Terps, making 10 starts in 2018. Last season, Hill, a native of Washington, D.C., completed 84 passes for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns.

Tennessee will continue practice on Saturday before taking an off day on Sunday. Monday will officially start the first game week of the 2019 season with Georgia State coming to Neyland Stadium for a 3:30 p.m. ET kick on ESPNU.