Vols to be without freshman against South Carolina

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    Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee freshman running back Dee Beckwith will not play this weekend against South Carolina due to an ankle injury he suffered in practice this week, Jeremy Pruitt announced on the SEC Teleconference Wednesday afternoon.

    “Unfortunately he won’t travel with us this week,” Pruitt told reporters. “He suffered an ankle injury this week in practice. He’ll be out and hopefully we can get him back and get him back there again so he can contribute by the time the season is over.”

    Beckwith signed with Tennessee this past recruiting cycle as a four-star prospect out of Florence High School in Florence, Alabama. 247Sports ranked Beckwith as the No. 19 overall athlete in the country and the 14th-best player in the state of Alabama.

    The 6-foot-5, 220 lbs. athlete worked at multiple positions throughout fall camp. Beckwith started out at wide receiver, and then worked at tight end, before finishing up camp at running back. Beckwith was expected to contribute at multiple positions this fall for the Vols.

    “In the last week he has really made a lot of strides showing his natural playmaking ability whether it’s catching the ball or competing on special teams,” Pruitt said. “Dee is a guy that unfortunately missed most of the summer. Just really trying a home for him — in high school he played quarterback, he played running back, he played wide receiver — and he did it all really well. Just figuring out the right fit for him.”

    Tennessee is now down to four healthy scholarship running backs. Senior Ty Chandler and sophomore Eric Gray will both serve as the feature backs while freshmen Tee Hodge and Jabari Small are competing for the No. 3 running back job. Hodge was slowed with a calf injury during fall camp.

    The Vols will kickoff their season this Saturday against South Carolina. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.