A few notes from Butch Jones’ media opportunity on Wednesday afternoon:
Injury update: Defensive end LaTroy Lewis, who has been banged up with an ankle injury, will make the trip to Georgia and is expected to play on Saturday. Butch Jones ruled linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. out for the Georgia game. Jones reiterated that he anticipates Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) being available for the UGA game after not being able to finish the game against Florida.
Jones also said that cornerback Cam Sutton is “working very, very hard to try to get himself back for the end of the season.” Offensive lineman Coleman Thomas is back close to 100% after battling through injuries as well.
On the Georgia side, running back Nick Chubb remains questionable for Saturday after injuring his ankle in the Ole Miss game on Saturday. Chubb hasn’t been seen at practice by the local media, but Jones said the Vols are fully anticipating him playing.
Bituli/Blakely updates: Jones was highly complimentary of freshman linebacker Daniel Bituli, who got some significant playing time on Saturday in UT’s goal-line package:
Butch Jones praises Daniel Bituli: "His role will continue to increase at linebacker and on special teams…I’m ecstatic about him”
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) September 28, 2016
Freshman Ja’Quain Blakely is on track to redshirt, per Jones, as the Vols evaluate him as a linebacker or a defensive end in the future.
• Center Dylan Wiesman is a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, which honors the top scholar-athlete/football player in the nation.
“We’ve asked so much Dylan Wiesman playing multiple positions,” Jones said. “And to be up for that, again, it embodies what being a student-athlete is all about.”
• Jones discussed the increase in depth on the defensive line for UT and what having 10-12 players playing in games means:
“We’ve not had that luxury here in the past, we’re getting to have that luxury now. It’s the accumulation of time, it’s accumulation of reps, and we’ve had individuals who have had to play too many reps. I think also, when you look at our fourth-quarter successes, a lot of that is relative to playing a number of individuals up front.