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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Tennessee
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  12/01/20 - Kivon BennettrJr/2022, Tennessee, 6-2, 245 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Tennessee dismissed outside linebacker Kivon Bennett from the football team on Tuesday, hours after he was arrested during a traffic stop. "There is a standard our student-athletes are expected to uphold at Tennessee, and today's incident fell well short of that standard," coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement. Bennett was stopped Tuesday around 11:21 a.m. by campus police, who clocked him driving 59 mph in a 45-mph zone. The police report said an officer asked Bennett if he had marijuana in the vehicle and that Bennett said he did. Police reported finding more than 44 grams of marijuana, a scale, 58 plastic baggies and a loaded 9mm handgun, according to the police report. Having more than half an ounce of marijuana is a felony in Tennessee. Bennett is the son of Cornelius Bennett, who was the No. 2 pick of the 1987 NFL Draft and a five-time Pro Bowler. - AP College Football

(DS#999 OLB) rJr/2022 OLB Kivon BennettTennessee
News Source: AP College Football
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  Once again, things went south for Tennessee after getting out to an early lead. Auburn closed out Saturday on a 30-7 scoring run after the Vols took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. It was the third time in these last five games that Tennessee ended up losing after leading through at least the midpoint of the second quarter. The passing game continues to be the primary issue for the Vols.

Jarrett Guarantano threw for just 156 yards and had a crusher of a pick-six before being pulled during the fourth quarter in favor of freshman Harrison Bailey. The pick-six came late in the third quarter with Tennessee trailing 13-10 and facing a second-and-7 at Auburn's 12-yard line. Instead of a go-ahead touchdown or a game-tying field goal, Guarantano was picked off in the end zone by Tigers safety Smoke Monday, who returned the interception 100 yards for a touchdown. A game-changing play. - Birmingham News


(DS#31 QB) rSr/2021 QB Jarrett GuarantanoTennessee
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/14/20 - Brandon KennedyrSr/2021, Tennessee, 6-2, 300 (DS#14 C) + More +

  Alabama State running back Ezra Gray and Tennessee center Brandon Kennedy, a Wetumpka native and Alabama transfer, are among 12 finalists announced Thursday for the 2020 William V. Campbell Trophy, the so-called "Academic Heisman." As Campbell Trophy finalists, Gray and Kennedy both receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarships and a place on the National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Class. The Campbell Trophy winner will be announced later this year and have his scholarship award increased to $25,000. Gray, a native of Lynn Haven, Fla., carries a 4.0 grade point average in Computer Information Systems. On the field, he led the Hornets in rushing in both 2018 and 2019 and is a two-time All-SWAC pick as a return specialist. Kennedy is working on a second master's degree at Tennessee after graduating from Alabama with an undergraduate degree in recreation and sports management in just three years. He played his first three seasons for the Crimson Tide before transferring to Tennessee, where he has started 19 consecutive games at center for the Volunteers. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#14 C) rSr/2021 C Brandon KennedyTennessee
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  11/06/20 - LenNeth WhiteheadFr/2024, Tennessee, 6-2, 225 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Freshman running back Len'Neth Whitehead will not play this season. Whitehead had been progressing toward making his debut after he had foot surgery last October as a high school senior. But he suffered a shoulder injury in practice last week, which will require surgery. Pruitt expects to have Whitehead back for spring practice. Whitehead was a four-star prospect coming out of Athens Academy in Georgia. A two-way standout in high school, he also was highly regarded as a linebacker. Tennessee has used just three running backs all season - Eric Gray, Ty Chandler and Jabari Small. Freshman Dee Beckwith is emerging as another option. He was slowed during the preseason because of quarantine and later an ankle injury, but he's now healthy. "We need more depth at running back," Pruitt said. "We've really played three guys for the year and have been very fortunate that those guys have stayed healthy." - Knoxville News Sentinel

(DS#999 RB) Fr/2024 RB LenNeth WhiteheadTennessee
News Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
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  10/23/20 - Cade MaysrJr/2022, Tennessee, 6-5, 320 (DS#4 OT) + More +

  Cade Mays took about 30 seconds collecting his thoughts and carefully choosing his words Tuesday as he answered the question of why Georgia wasn't the right fit. "There were just things that were not really - I'm looking for the right word - things that just weren't like …," Mays said, before pausing to think. "It wasn't really for me, you know? So, I felt like I had to transfer, and so I did so, and now I'm happy with where I am." Mays, a junior offensive lineman, won a contentious transfer waiver process to gain eligibility to play for Tennessee this season after transferring from Georgia in January. Mays spoke with reporters Tuesday for the first time since his transfer.

As an intraconference transfer, Mays needed waivers from the NCAA and SEC to gain immediate eligibility and not have to sit out a season. Initially, the NCAA denied Mays' waiver. Then prominent Knoxville lawyer Gregory P. Isaacs took up Mays' case and ratcheted up the public campaign to get Mays cleared. Isaacs told Knox News in August that "because of a variety of factors, it was a toxic environment (at Georgia) that did not support Cade Mays' well-being as a student-athlete." Coach Jeremy Pruitt and teammates spoke out on Mays' behalf. The NCAA reconsidered and granted a waiver, and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, at recommendation from the conference's presidents and chancellors, issued blanket waivers to any intraconference transfer athletes looking to compete this year. - Knoxville News Sentinel


(DS#4 OT) rJr/2022 OT Cade MaysTennessee
News Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
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  Within a four series stretch during the first half vs. Kentucky, Tennessee quarterbacks produced a lost fumble and three interceptions, including two pick-sixes. Starter Jarrett Guarantano was responsible for three of the turnovers, including pick-sixes on back-to-back drives. It put him at six turnovers over a four quarter stretch dating back to the Vols' Week 3 loss to Georgia and led to Tennessee briefly turning to backup QB J.T. Shrout, who promptly threw an interception of his own on his first pass attempt. It wasn't just Tennessee, though. It was also a tough week for quarterbacks from Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia. Auburn's Bo Nix was just 24 of 47 with three interceptions during a loss to South Carolina. Ole Miss' Matt Corral, who had thrown for 320 yards or more and only one interception through his first three games, had six interceptions vs. Arkansas and only threw for 200 yards. - Birmingham News

(DS#31 QB) rSr/2021 QB Jarrett GuarantanoTennessee
News Source: Birmingham News
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  Guarantano was benched after two picks and J.T. Shrout was intercepted on his first attempt by Tyrell Ajian. That pick was turned into a field goal and a 17-0 lead. Guarantano's performance off the bench in last year's 17-13 win at Kentucky fueled his resurgence. That carried him through the final three games of last season and the start of this season. But it's apparent that Tennessee again has a questions at quarterback. Tennessee will entertain No. 2 Alabama next Saturday. - AP College Football

(DS#31 QB) rSr/2021 QB Jarrett GuarantanoTennessee
News Source: AP College Football
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  10/17/20 - J.J. PetersonrSo/2023, Tennessee, 6-1, 225 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Tennessee linebacker J.J. Peterson, the highest-ranked recruit in coach Jeremy Pruitt's first signing class, is taking a few weeks away from the program, and his future with the Vols is unclear. Peterson has not appeared in any games this year, and his development in the program has been slow since signing as a four-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. Peterson has "not been with us for a couple of weeks," Pruitt said. "It's something that J.J. wanted to do, and me and him talked and had a really good talk about it. So, that will be between me and him," Pruitt said Wednesday night. As for whether Peterson will rejoin the Vols as an active member of the squad, Pruitt said, "We'll see." The 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore remains on Tennessee's online roster, and Peterson is not in the NCAA transfer portal, a team spokesman confirmed. - Knoxville News Sentinel

(DS#999 OLB) rSo/2023 OLB J.J. PetersonTennessee
News Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
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  10/16/20 - Deandre JohnsonSr/2021, Tennessee, 6-2, 255 (DS#32 OLB) + More +

  Vols senior outside linebacker Deandre Johnson's targeting penalty and subsequent ejection during the first quarter of Saturday's 44-21 loss to Georgia was earned, according to Pruitt. "It was a bad decision on his part," Pruitt said. "He took two-and-a-half steps. The whole thing, really, about any defenseless player is that if you can avoid contact, it's your job to do that. I've always felt that there is inconsistency in the rule but that it's a good rule because it helps our game and protects our players. "It is a tough rule to kind of enforce, and there have been some inconsistencies in my opinion over the years, but I think Deandre should have avoided the quarterback. It's pretty simple." Johnson, who leads the Vols with 3.5 sacks this season, was ineligible for the second half of Saturday's game but is good to go this week. - Chattanooga Times Free Press

(DS#32 OLB) Sr/2021 OLB Deandre JohnsonTennessee
News Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press
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  Fifth-year senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has taken every snap this season and ranks ninth in the SEC in quarterback efficiency. Guarantano excelled during the first half of Saturday's 44-21 loss to Georgia before losing two fumbles and throwing an interception in the second half. While Pruitt was not pleased with the turnovers, he said that Guarantano "is our quarterback" and "gives us the best opportunity to have success." - Knoxville News Sentinel

(DS#31 QB) rSr/2021 QB Jarrett GuarantanoTennessee
News Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
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  10/15/20 - Josh PalmerSr/2021, Tennessee, 6-1, 210 (DS#40 WR) + More +

  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tennessee wide receiver made an acrobatic touchdown catch last season to help the Volunteers rally from 13-3 down at halftime to beat Kentucky. A Brampton, Ontario, Canada, product, Palmer (14 catches for 227 yards and three touchdowns) caught two TDs in last week's 44-21 loss at Georgia. - Herald Leader

(DS#40 WR) Sr/2021 WR Josh PalmerTennessee
News Source: Herald Leader
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  10/10/20 - Ty ChandlerSr/2021, Tennessee, 5-11, 205 (DS#14 RB) + More +

  Tennessee senior running back Ty Chandler is leading the Southeastern Conference in rushing through two weekends despite failing to notch a 100-yard performance in victories over South Carolina and Missouri. Of course, negative plays can factor into such totals as well. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder out of Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy has carried 32 times for 176 yards for a robust average of 5.5 yards per rush. Not once in those 32 carries has Chandler endured a lost-yardage stop, a trait he hopes to continue this Saturday when the No. 14 Volunteers face No. 3 Georgia in Sanford Stadium. "We definitely take pride in that - being able to get back to the line of scrimmage and getting more yards than what the play is blocked for," Chandler said Tuesday afternoon on a Zoom call. "That's what is preached to us every day, and that's what we try and do.

Tennessee's running backs didn't have a lost-yardage carry in last weekend's 35-12 thumping of Mizzou, as Chandler, sophomore Eric Gray and freshman Jabari Small combined on 39 rushes for 222 yards. Vols third-year coach Jeremy Pruitt said after the game that negative runs typically are the result of missed assignments and that running backs should always fall forward. Pruitt felt like his rushers could have broken more arm tackles but was pleased they didn't get greedy. "Sometimes a running back can get greedy and bounce things that he shouldn't or maybe make the wrong cut," Pruitt said. "Our guys are coachable, and they're trying to do the things we ask them to do." - Chattanooga Times Free Press


(DS#14 RB) Sr/2021 RB Ty ChandlerTennessee
News Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press
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  10/09/20 - Cade MaysrJr/2022, Tennessee, 6-5, 320 (DS#4 OT) + More +

  Ever since Mays announced his decision to transfer, Bulldog players have seemed to have his back. "You can't shake your head at the kid for wanting to do what he felt was best for himself and his family," senior offensive lineman Ben Cleveland said. "That's what everybody on the team here wants because once you're part of the family, we want what's best for you and what's best for your family. That's what he felt was best for him and his family, so I feel like we stood behind him as his teammates as he went on that journey." That being said, Cleveland and other Bulldogs over recent weeks have said they haven't experienced any kind of toxic environment during their time at Georgia.

Mays wears No. 68 for the Vols. His brother Cooper, also an offensive lineman, wears 63. Whatever Mays felt about his surroundings in the previous two years, he returns to what will surely be a hostile environment come Saturday afternoon. The saga of Mays' transfer, the lawsuit, the severed pinky and the off-then-on waiver will finally come to a head between the hedges. In a league full of blood feuds, the Georgia-Tennessee rivalry just got ratcheted up a notch. - Macon Telegraph


(DS#4 OT) rJr/2022 OT Cade MaysTennessee
News Source: Macon Telegraph
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  10/07/20 - Cade MaysrJr/2022, Tennessee, 6-5, 320 (DS#4 OT) + More +

  One of the subplots of Saturday's game will be Vols offensive lineman Cade Mays facing his former team. Mays transferred to Tennessee in January after two seasons with the Bulldogs. Mays made his Vols debut in Saturday's 35-12 victory over Missouri after he received an SEC transfer waiver, granting him immediate eligibility, earlier in the week. Mays previously received an NCAA transfer waiver. "I know Cade is really happy that he's getting a chance to play. He's very thankful for that," Pruitt said. "He went against most of these (Georgia players) every single day. When you're a competitor, on both sides of the ball, it's going to be no different for the kids from Georgia. They're used to going against Cade, and Cade is used to going against them. They'll be real familiar with each other." Mays has not been made available to the media since his transfer. - Athens Daily Banner

(DS#4 OT) rJr/2022 OT Cade MaysTennessee
News Source: Athens Daily Banner
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  10/03/20 - Eric GraySo/2023, Tennessee, 5-09, 205 (DS#26 RB) + More +

  Eric Gray and Ty Chandler combined to rush for 195 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead No. 21 Tennessee to a 35-12 victory over Missouri Saturday. The Vols (2-0) have won eight in a row, tying them with Notre Dame for the most among Power Five teams. Connor Bazelak relieved Shawn Robinson at quarterback in the second quarter or Missouri (0-2), but the Tigers could still only muster one touchdown. Jarrett Guarantano played a mistake-free game for Tennessee, completing 14 of 23 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown. He also converted on three fourth-down runs in the first quarter and had two short touchdown runs. Behind a strong performance by Tennessee's offensive line, the Vols battered the defense. Gray ran for 105 yards, with a touchdown rushing and receiving. Chandler rolled up 90 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers couldn't limit the run, which opened up Tennessee's passing game for some big plays as the Vols led 21-6 at intermission. Gray's 20-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter allowed the sophomore to become the first Volunteer to score rushing TDs in four consecutive games since quarterback Josh Dobbs in 2016. - Tennessee/AP College Football

(DS#26 RB) So/2023 RB Eric GrayTennessee
News Source: Tennessee/AP College Football
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