KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee defensive tackle Shy Tuttle is coming off a game that saw him match his career-high tackles effort in only his third career start, and he believes he can do even better.
“I still don’t feel like I’m playing like my old self,” said Tuttle, who had 5 tackles and 1 1/2 tackles for loss in the 24-10 win over Southern Miss on Saturday.
The 1 1/2 tackles for loss against the Golden Eagles were also a career high for Tuttle, who clogged up interior rush lanes and made life miserable for Southern Miss.
“I have to play without any doubt,” Tuttle said Tuesday at the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Center, “and relentlessly.”
Tuttle has been one of the Vols’ more inspirational stories over the past three seasons, overcoming season-ending injuries in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Tuttle has started the past two games in place of junior Kahlil McKenzie and shown the type of power and athleticism that NFL teams like.
But Tuttle is the first to say he’s still a work in progress.
“Sometimes I still think about [the injury],” said Tuttle, “and then I’ll watch film and see where I stepped gingerly.”
Tuttle had 10 tackles as a freshman before suffering a season-ending broken fibula the sixth game of the year against Georgia. Last season, Tuttle had 9 tackles through the first six games before sustaining a season-ending knee injury at South Carolina.
Tuttle admits his knee injury has been more of a hurdle, perhaps because he knew just how much would be involved before he could return to form.
“Coming off the second one, it was pretty challenging, (and) I had thoughts in my head of if I’d run the same or play the same,” Tuttle said. “I still have to work on stuff.
“I feel like I was more explosive, so I’m still working to get back to that guy.”
Shy Tuttle Video Interview
(Tuttle at 14:25 mark after Trey Smith)
Tennessee freshman offensive tackle Trey Smith discuss Missouri
Posted by Tennessee Volunteers Insiders on Tuesday, November 7, 2017