Tennessee TE Austin Pope Forced To Hang Up His Cleats

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    Tennessee tight end Austin Pope has been through numerous coaches, staffs and has dealt with multiple injuries during his playing career in Knoxville. It’s been an interesting five years for the Knoxville native, who has played in 33 games during his time on the hill. He graduated from Tennessee in December of 2020 and came back to play this season, looking to be the veteran leader.

    Unfortunately for Austin, he’s dealt with a few setbacks. He had surgery in July and August of 2020 to fix a herniated disc in his back, but that wasn’t the only setback during this time. After long hours of rehab and work to get back on the field, he returned for spring practice under Josh Heupel. But for Austin, 2020 wouldn’t be the last time his back caused him problems.

    Austin wanted to discuss his time at Tennessee and the unfortunate timing of his recent setback. He gave his all for his team, so, I sat down with Austin and let him tell you in his own words about his time in Knoxville and why his football career is coming to an end, on his terms.

    Listen to our full interview with Austin below.


    Trey Wallace is a Knoxville-based journalist who has been covering University of Tennessee athletics since early 2018. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football's biggest stories. His vast social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of Vol Nation's most trusted sources. Wallace was born and raised in Mobile, AL and graduated from the University of South Alabama. He loves the mountains as much as the beach and looks forward to living in East Tennessee for many years to come.