KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee head coach Butch Jones will meet with reporters for the first time since late last week, as the Volunteers scrimmaged Saturday before beginning preparations for Appalachian State.
The Vols, who checked in at No. 9 in the preseason AP Poll, open the season next Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Stay tuned for updates.
- Jones opens press conference saying, “Looking forward to playing. Just nine days away. It’s getting closer.”
- Jones said entire roster was reviewed to see who is and is not “game-ready.” Tennessee will hold a “mock game” tonight inside Neyland Stadium, with Jones saying he’s interested in seeing how the younger players respond.
- The Volunteers will take Wednesday and Thursday off before kickstarting “game week” on Friday. Jones said the days off are customary and all about recovery. “Then is sets in the reality it’s game time.”
- Jones talking about relying on his personal journal, something he writes in daily. The notebook allows him to refer and learn from past situations.
- Jones on Tennessee’s “Life in the Shadows” hit on SportsCenter: “Wait until you see the blooper reel.”
- While senior LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin is unsure about his shoulder, Jones said the linebacker is “100 percent” and ready to go. “He’s proven it.”
- Couple injury updates: receiver Jauan Jennings, who has been in a green, non-contact jersey all camp, has missed the last several practices, but Jones “anticipates” Jennings being ready for next Thursday. “We’ll see here the next couple of days.”
- Jones emphasizing sports science, team’s maturity in allowing veterans to take maintenance days during camp.
- Jones announces Quinten Dormady will be Tennessee’s backup quarterback. “He’s one snap away.” Jones also praised Jarret Guarantano’s development.
- Jones said DT Shy Tuttle “is still a work in progress” and “right on schedule.” Jones said the sophomore isn’t “game-ready” yet though.
- Jones anticipates redshirting just four freshmen. “We will play a lot of true freshmen.”
- “This is one of our more talented freshmen classes.”
- Jones said Appalachian State install has started, calls the Mountaineers a great team. “They definitely have our respect. They expect to win.”
- Jones raving about Kahlil McKenzie’s growth: “It’s night and day how far he’s come.”
- Jones continues to praise freshmen class, saying, “We’ve had quote un quote two Top 5 recruiting classes but this class will rivals any of those.”
That’s a wrap for Jones. Check back at SEC Country for more updates later in the day.
Jesse Simonton covers Tennessee football and recruiting for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and SECCountry.com