Tennessee will be without one of its offensive linemen in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 against Nebraska.
Redshirt freshman Venzell Boulware, who played in seven games this season and started three – including the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt – will miss Tennessee’s bowl for academic reasons, head coach Butch Jones confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
“Venzell is a great young man,” Jones said. “He’ll be better for it. He can still practice, and he’s had one of the best bowl practices that we’ve had, but due to academics, he will not be available.
“He has a great mother and he has a great foundation,” Jones also said when discussing how to approach a situation like this. “He understands, and it’s going back and where did we go wrong and how do we make things better? And the thing is, what I’ve liked about him is he’s been very realistic and upfront and we all know he is a great person. And like I said, it’s just like your children, sometimes it takes something like this, and he’ll be better for it and he’ll bounce back.”
Jones indicated that Boulware should be back for the spring, and didn’t seem to indicate that his future was in any way in jeopardy with the program. Boulware was the only academic issue that Jones noted, and he also said that no players have approached him about transferring away from Tennessee this offseason.
Jones mentioned sophomore offensive lineman Jack Jones as somebody who can step up in Boulware’s absence.
The Vols used several different starting combinations on the offensive line in 2016. With Boulware and Chance Hall (injury) out, they will likely go with some mixture of primarily Jack Jones, Dylan Wiesman, Jashon Robertson, Coleman Thomas, Drew Richmond and Brett Kendrick in the Music City Bowl.