Tennessee freshman linebacker Arion Carter will miss the remainder of the Vols’ 2023 football season with season-ending shoulder surgery, first reported by On3 Sports’ VolQuest and confirmed to Rocky Top Insider by a Tennessee spokesperson.
Carter, a former four-star recruit from the class of 2023, has been a productive freshman linebacker for the Volunteers this season and played in the first eight games of Tennessee’s year. The Smyrna, TN, native did not suit up for the ninth game of the season against UConn and did not travel to the game against Missouri on Saturday in Columbia.
Carter’s surgery will effectively end his freshman season as the talented linebacker will soon start the road to recovery.
Arion Carter collected 17 total tackles in the eight games that he played in this season with his most productive performance coming against South Carolina where he recorded three tackles and one tackle for loss for four yards.
Carter is Tennessee’s second big loss from the linebacker group this season as transfer Keenan Pili has missed the majority of the season with an injury himself. With Carter out, Tennessee will use sophomore Kalib Perry and freshman Jeremiah Telander to play alongside Aaron Beasley and Elijah Herring.
The Tennessee native was turning heads on the coaching staff with his raw talent leading into the season and through the first two months of play.
“It’s tremendous because he is that kid,” Tennessee defensive coordinator Tim Banks said of Carter’s work ethic and growth in early October. “He’s a kid that has wanted to be great, all the way back to the recruiting process. Every kid thinks they’ll just show up and take over with their athleticism, but the reality of it is, at this level, it’s the small margins that you’re going to win in. That’s obviously the film study, taking care of your body, doing all of those little things – and he’s really committed to that lifestyle at this point. We’re very pleased with where he is, and we know that he’s really just scratching the surface with how good he can truly be.”
Tennessee (7-3, 3-3 SEC) has two remaining regular season games against Georgia and Vanderbilt in the final two weeks. Both games will be played in Knoxville.