KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will honor 11 scholarships seniors before Saturday’s game against Missouri, but coach Butch Jones left the door open that esteemed juniors Derek Barnett and Alvin Kamara — two players very likely headed to the NFL after the season — could be honored pregame, too.
During the SEC teleconference on Wednesday, Jones was asked how he would handle if Barnett and Kamara came to him and wanted to run through the ‘T’ for potentially their final home game at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee’s coach didn’t hesitate to oblige.
“Running through the ‘T’ is very, very special,” Jones said.
“If they wanted to do that, like we have in the past with our captains at one time or another, we’d try to accommodate that.”
Kamara, who cited “unfinished business” after returning from a knee injury last Saturday, is a permanent team captain for the Vols, while Barnett is two sacks away from tying Reggie White’s school-record. Both players are among the most respected guys in the locker room.
So far, Jones indicated neither player has asked for the opportunity.
“The great thing with these individuals is they don’t even think that. Everything is about playing football and playing winning football and leading their team,” Jones said.
“I’ve been very, very happy with them. But obviously, anytime you run through the ‘T’ it’s very, very special.