KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee wrapped up its third practice of the week on Wednesday night at Haslam Field. As preparation for UTEP continues, the Volunteers are striving to be productive and take advantage of every opportunity each day, including those that are presented to the scout team.
“Everywhere that I have been, we have had guys that are probably our best players that started on the scout team,” head coach Jeremy Pruittsaid. “I have seen a bunch of first rounders play on the scout team, and they played it like it was their game every day.
“If you want to be a good football player, you are going to take every opportunity and do the best with what you can do with it.”
Thompson Displays Perseverance
Freshman cornerback Bryce Thompson was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday after strong practices and a career outing in Week 2 of the season.
“I think it was a perfect lesson for everybody on our team,” Pruitt said. “I think Bryce would be the first one to tell you that he didn’t play very well against West Virginia, but he came back and practiced extremely hard and it showed the way he played on Saturday.”
The Irmo, S.C., native made his first-career start in the Volunteers’ 59-3 blowout victory against ETSU on Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium. Thompson filled the stat sheet with four tackles, two tackles for loss, a pass breakup and his first-career interception, which he returned for 21 yards to the ETSU 3-yard line to set up UT’s third touchdown of the contest.
On Tuesday, Thompson was also named to the PFF College SEC Defensive Team of the Week.
UT Supporting Families Affected by Hurricane Florence
On Wednesday, Pruitt expressed the importance of prioritizing the safety of players’ families who have been affected by Hurricane Florence. Nine student-athletes on Tennessee’s roster hail from the Carolinas.
“For all the guys that have family that’s kind of in the wake of the storm there, to me that’s got to be their number one priority, their family’s safety. I’m sure that it’s on their mind, it’s on everybody’s mind that’s there, that’s not even associated with Tennessee. It’s an unfortunate circumstance that happens and we’ve tried to do everything that we possibly could to help alleviate some of the stress of the family members of our players who could possibly be affected by the storm.”
Earlier in the day, Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer extended an invitation to families displaced by Hurricane Florence to attend Saturday’s game against UTEP at Neyland free of charge.