It was reported on Wednesday that rising sophomore offensive lineman Wanya Morris would miss all of Tennessee’s upcoming spring practices after having surgery on his hip. On Thursday, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed Morris’ upcoming absence, and he added that another rising sophomore won’t be on the practice field this spring either.
At Tennessee’s Nashville recruiting celebration festivities, Pruitt revealed that linebacker Quavaris Crouch will be sitting out spring practices for the Vols as well. But the Vols’ head coach expects Crouch to be ready to go by the time Tennessee goes through summer workouts.
“Quavaris Crouch had shoulder surgery,” Pruitt explained per quotes from 247Sports. “It’s something that we just felt like it was better to go ahead and fix right now, the doctors did. He’ll be back and ready to go this summer.”
In his freshman campaign with Tennessee, Crouch played a variety of roles. On defense, he played both outside and inside linebacker, and he was used as a short-yardage running back in certain offensive situations.
Crouch appeared in all 13 of Tennessee’s games this season and totaled 28 tackles, a tackle for loss, half a sack, and two passes defended. On offense, he carried the ball seven times and scored twice.
Coming out of high school, Crouch was a top-100 overall player and was rated as the No. 61 overall prospect and No. 3 athlete in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Crouch is expected to play more inside linebacker for the Vols this season with the departure of Daniel Bituli due to graduation.
As for Morris, the surgery to work on the star lineman’s hip is addressing a multi-year issue. Morris had problems with his hip in high school, and Tennessee wanted to go ahead and try and get things fixed this offseason.
“Wanya’s had a little bit of an issue since he was in high school, and he’s played with it over the last couple of years,” Pruitt stated. “But we just felt like from a standpoint of player development, it’s just a small procedure to go ahead and get it done, which would keep him out of spring ball. It gives him an opportunity to train at a little higher level and continue to develop, so it’s something that our doctors decided to go ahead and do.”
The 6-foot-4, 313-pound lineman started 12 of Tennessee’s 13 games this season, playing mostly as the Vols’ left tackle. He also played some right tackle and guard during the season. He was named to the 247Sports True Freshman All-American Team and was voted a Freshman All-SEC performer for his debut campaign at UT.
Morris, a former five-star prospect, became the first true freshman to start on the offensive line in a season opener for the Vols since Trey Smith in 2017. Morris started the Vols’ opener against Georgia State, and Smith started his first game as a Vol against Georgia Tech in 2017.
Coming out of high school, Morris was the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 6 offensive tackle in the 2019 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was one of two five-star offensive tackles to sign with the Vols in the 2019 cycle, joining Darnell Wright as bookends to UT’s offensive line haul.