Another Vol Offensive Lineman to Medically Retire

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    (Photo via West Rucker/247Sports)

    So far this offseason, the Vols have had three different offensive linemen have their Tennessee careers cut short due to medical reasons. Now, a fourth offensive lineman is having to call it quits.

    Redshirt sophomore Eric Crosby took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to announce that he is having to medically retire from football due to an ongoing knee injury that “would not get right.” Crosby stated in a post that he was in “constant daily pain” from the injury, and he consulted with doctors and his mother before coming to the decision.

    Crosby joined the Vols as a four-star defensive tackle in the 2017 signing class, but he never saw the field in his two years with Tennessee. He switched to offensive line prior to the 2018 season, but Crosby never saw any game action.

    The 6-foot-1, 328-pound lineman played for Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach and is majoring in Sport Management at the University of Tennessee.

    Crosby is now the fourth Tennessee offensive lineman this offseason to either medically retire or take a medical scholarship. Chance Hall, Tanner Antonutti, and Devante Brooks are the other three Vol linemen to have their UT careers end this offseason.

    Both Hall and Antonutti have stayed with the Tennessee football program despite their playing careers coming to an end. Both served as player assistants this spring, working with the Vols’ offensive line coach. Brooks and Crosby have yet to state their intent for what they will do in the future.

    Tennessee has another offensive lineman who could be forced into medical retirement in Trey Smith. Right now, the star lineman is still hopeful that he can overcome the blood clots in his lungs to suit up for the Vols again, but only time will tell if he’s able to or not.

    Earlier this offseason, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt commented on the health and status of linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr., and it appears the redshirt senior may not play for the Vols again either.

    “He had a little bit of a chronic knee (issue),” Pruitt said of Kirkland about three weeks ago. “He’s had a couple surgeries on his knee. He is undergoing some treatment in Pensacola with James Andrews. It’s something that’s been done on several guys that play in the NFL that’s really extended their careers.

    “Right now, he’s doing that. We’ve talked about the rehab part of it this summer and even the possibility of him not playing next fall and getting ready for the draft in January.”

    With Crosby’s departure from the roster, Tennessee currently has 11 active offensive linemen on the roster not including Trey Smith. The Vols will welcome in three offensive linemen signees — Darnell Wright, Jackson Lampley, and Melvin McBride — over the summer as part of their 2019 signing class.



    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.