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Heupel Says No Change To McCollough’s Status Despite Independent Review Board Clearance

Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee safety Jaylen McCollough is one step closer to returning to the field after a Tennessee independent review board cleared McCollough to return to the field, Outkick’s Trey Wallace reported Thursday.

The independent review board’s clearance comes a week after Tennessee’s student conduct board also cleared McCollough for return.

While two different Tennessee boards have cleared McCollough to play, the senior safety is still facing aggravated assault charges.

So, has there been any change to McCollough’s status?

“No. You guys have heard me say earlier that he’s been cleared on the campus side of it,” Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said Thursday. “Whoever looks at that has decided that based on the evidence that they cleared him. He’s been with us the last week so we will see.”

While Heupel says there’s no change to McCollough’s status, the second year head coach could play the starting safety against Kentucky despite the charges looming. The student contact and independent review board’s clearance gives Heupel the approval of the university to play McCollough.

Whether Heupel will play the senior is up in the air though his Thursday comments indicate McCollough is unlikely to play.

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The Knoxville Police Department arrested and charged McCollough with aggravated assault on Oct. 9 after a drunk male accidentally entered McCollough’s apartment and McCollough punched him outside the apartment.

McCollough’s lawyer filed a motion this week claiming McCollough — and his roommate Warren Burrell — asked the man to leave the apartment multiple times. Once he walked out the door, the man tried to re-enter which is when McCollough punched him.

The senior safety started the first five games of Tennessee’s season where he tallied 23 tackles. McCollough has been a multi-year starter for the Vols at safety where he’s totaled 148 tackles and three interceptions.

Junior Doneiko Slaughter has started at safety in McCollough’s absence the last two weeks, tallying nine tackles including eight against Alabama.

Kick off between the Vols and Wildcats is set for 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe are on the call for ESPN.

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One Response

  1. So an Alabama player can sucker punch a woman on the field and play the next Saturday, but McCollough can’t?!

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