RTI contributor Robert Hughes is the author of this article
At the conclusion of practice on Monday, Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt gathered his players to give his usual post-practice speech.
His address this time, however, featured a special message.
On Monday, three walk-on football players on Tennessee’s roster — all freshmen — were awarded scholarships.
“This past summer, we had the opportunity to award [Jarious] Abercrombie and Andrew Craig scholarships. We’re going to continue to do that,” Pruitt said to his team. “We have three scholarships that we can give right now, and there are lots of guys that are deserving. Keep doing what you’re doing, because we will have more opportunities to do this down the road.
“For our coaching staff, this was a very tough decision to figure out who we were going to give these scholarships to, but the three guys that are going to be put on scholarship starting now are Kenney Solomon, Isaiah Montgomery, and (Kwauze) Pakk Garland.”
Each name that was announced was met with resounding applause as the Volunteers players heard their teammates’ names called.
Here’s the full video of the moment:
🚨 SCHOLARSHIP ALERT 🚨
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) November 18, 2019
Isaiah Montgomery, the only wide receiver of the group, has seen limited playing time thus far in the 2019 football season, playing in just two games against Georgia and UAB.
Defensive back Pakk Garland, like Montgomery, has made two appearances this season for the Vols, appearing in limited action against Mississippi State and Kentucky. His brother, Kurott Garland, plays defensive line for Tennessee and has played in all 10 games, totaling 10 tackles as redshirt freshman.
Fellow defensive back Kenney Solomon has made the biggest in-game impact of the new scholarship trio, appearing in eight of Tennessee’s 10 games, including every game since Tennessee’s match-up against in-state opponent UT-Chattanooga. In those eight games, Solomon recorded one tackle against the Mississippi State Bulldogs and also has one of Tennessee’s 14 interceptions on the season, intercepting a pass against UTC in the end zone to preserve Tennessee’s shut out.
Players like freshman linebackers Henry To’o To’o and Quavaris Crouch, freshmen offensive linemen Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright, as well as freshman quarterbacks J.T. Shrout and Brian Maurer, have seen significant playing time this season and have impressed. Based on the scholarships awarded on Monday, it seems like other members of the Vols’ young core have impressed as well.