Butch Jones Says Will McBride May Still Play

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    Butch Jones addressed the media for the final time before the Vols hit the road to take on Missouri.

    He updated the status of quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, discussed personnel concerns on the offensive line, and talked about the challenge the Tigers’ defense will present.

    Here are a few notes from Jones’ comments.

    Injury Update

    Nothing has really changed since Jones talked to the media on Monday.

    Jarrett Guarantano, Brett Kendrick, and Drew Richmond’s statuses are still up in the air.

    “Everything is pretty much he same since Monday. Richmond and Kendrick are questionable. Jarrett Guarantano is probable,” Jones said.

    He also added that Marquez Callaway is still questionable as well. He’ll be at practice this afternoon, according to Jones, who says that he’ll know more after today.

    Keeping Recruits

    Tennessee lost its top recruit this week when five-star offensive lineman Cade Mays decommitted from the Vols on Tuesday. And while Jones can’t officially comment on unsigned recruits, he was asked about the difficulties of keeping long term pledges from prospective athletes.

    “It’s a great challenge forged by relationships over time,” Jones said. “It’s in flux every single minute, hour and day in the world that we live in. You have to rely on relationships.”

    He went on to mention Trey Smith in his recruiting pitch. Jones is continuing to rely on relationships, giving a “long term success” sales pitch.

    “You have to look into a crystal ball and see where a program’s going in the next four years. You have to figure out what’s best for you…guys like Trey Smith were up to the challenge to try and get Tennessee back to a very, very high level,” he said.

    McBride’s Debut

    Will McBride’s season probably isn’t over.

    Jones said that even if Guarantano is ready to go on Saturday, it’s likely that the true freshman will still play.

    “Will did some good things and continues to progress,” Jones said.

    In his first action on Saturday against Southern Miss, Jones was pleased with the way McBride handled himself. In fact, he says that his quarterback’s personality is contagious.

    “It’s hard to explain. Some individuals just have ‘it.’ He has it with his personality. He’s never too high or low. Very consistent,” he said.