WATCH: Heupel Talks Hendon Hooker’s Health Before Alabama

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    Tennessee Josh Heupel

    Tennessee HC Josh Heupel spoke with the media on Thursday before the Vols take on Alabama this Saturday night.

    The Tennessee Volunteers will go toe-to-toe with their toughest opponent to date this season Saturday night under the lights. Tennessee will square off against Alabama in the first “Third Saturday in October” game of Josh Heupel’s career. Although, in this case, it is the fourth Saturday in October.

    Before the Vols take off for Tuscaloosa, Heupel met with the media in Knoxville one last time. The next media availability for Heupel will be after Saturday’s game.

    During his interview on Thursday, Heupel ran through a number of topics, although, fewer than usual. Heupel began with a health update on some of Tennessee’s key players, like quarterback Hendon Hooker and even OL K’rojhn Calbert. However, as usual, Heupel did not give away too many key details.

    “Our medical staff and our strength and conditioning staff has done a really good job in the rehab process,” Heupel said about Calbert’s recovery process. “He has worked extremely hard. Reasonable expectation that he’s got an opportunity to play as he gets into the last quarter of the season.”

    Additionally, Heupel spoke about the week in preparation for Alabama, and where Tennessee has been improving this week. The Vols will be going up against a player contender in Alabama, led by freshman phenom Bryce Young.

    “He’s smart, competitive, accurate with the football,” Heupel said about Young on Wednesday. “Obviously he has dynamic playmakers around him from the receivers to the tight end to the running back. Offensive line does a great job with protection but you can tell that he understands what his pre-snap read is and where he’s supposed to go with the ball once he sees the post-snap movement from the defense.”

    Below is the full press conference for Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel. The Vols (4-3, 2-2 SEC) take on Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC) in Tuscaloosa this Saturday night.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.