After a few days of questions, it sounds like Tennessee fans finally have solid answers regarding Darrin Kirkland Jr. and his future in Knoxville.
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed reports that Kirkland has decided to return to the Tennessee program. Last week, Kirkland tweeted that he planned to transfer.
“The injuries have been hard on him, but he wants to be here and we want him here,” Pruitt told ESPN’s Chris Low. “He can definitely help us.”
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith reported on Monday that Kirkland was leaning toward returning to Tennessee. Pruitt was evidently very effective in convincing him to return to the program.
His presence will certainly be welcomed in the middle of defense as Pruitt looks to rebuild the culture in Knoxville.
Kirkland will miss summer workouts after having surgery this spring, but is expected to be ready to go for fall camp. He suffered a knee injury in fall camp that ended his 2017 season a year ago.
In two seasons with the Vols, Kirkland has 111 total tackles, 4.0 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.