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    (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

    Editor’s note: This story has been updated to address a statement the University of Tennessee released late Thursday afternoon to clarify Chancellor Plowman’s comments in regards to tailgating earlier in the day.

    University of Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman announced on Thursday afternoon that there will be no on-campus tailgating if Tennessee football is played in 2020.

    “We don’t know what will happen with football yet,” Plowman said in a livestreamed student update. “We’re hopeful they’ll play. If they do, it will not be to a full stadium, and it will likely be significant reduced capacity. If we do play football, we won’t have tailgating on campus.”

    The University released a statement later Thursday afternoon clarifying Chancellor Plowman’s comments, stating on Twitter that “details about individual fans’ ability to tailgate on campus are yet to be determined.”

    “Whatever we do will follow recommended guidelines from public health officials,” the University wrote. “We will communicate specific information as decisions continue to be made.

    “Game days will look different this fall. There will be no tailgates organized by the university, including student organizations. There is a lot of uncertainty about plans for football in general.”

    Tailgating feels like a minor detail at this point following a devastating week around college football. The Pac-12 and Big Ten both decided to cancel fall sports earlier this week in hopes that a spring season could be played. Only three Power Five conferences — the ACC, Big 12 and — are still on track to play as scheduled.

    The SEC is still scheduled to begin its 10-game conference-only schedule on Sept. 26. Fall practice is scheduled to begin for the Vols this coming Monday, Aug. 17. Practice was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 4.

    Tennessee’s 10-game conference-only schedule, as announced last Friday by the SEC, consists of home games against Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M; and road games against Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is scheduled for Sept. 19.

    The complete schedule that includes dates for all 10 of the games has not yet been released. It is believed that the SEC will release the full schedule next week.

      (Photo via @KaidonSalter_7 on Twitter)

      Vols 2021 quarterback commit Kaidon Salter will enroll at Tennessee in January, he announced on Wednesday afternoon.

      “Hey (Cedar Hill High School) , I enjoyed every moment on and off the field as a longhorn, but it’s time to do what’s right for my FAMILY and my FUTURE,” Salter tweeted. “VOL NATION SEE YOU IN JANUARY!”

      The Cedar Hill, Texas native committed to Tennessee over Auburn earlier this year on May 10. He’s considered a four-star prospect and a top 100 player by 247Sports. He’s ranked as the third-best dual-threat quarterback in the country, the 76th-best player in the country and the 13th-best player in the state of Texas. He was named to the Elite 11 last month after competing in the Elite 11 Finals in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

      Salter enjoyed a breakout junior season in 2019, his first at Cedar Hill High School, which he led to a 9-3 record and a Texas Class 6A Division II second-round playoff appearance. Salter threw for 2,550 yards, 28 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes, while running for 616 yards and 10 touchdowns on 6.2 yards per carry.

      He has an encouraging athletic profile that includes impressive track and field participation in the 300-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, and triple jump.

      The opening week of the 2020 season for Class 5A and Class 6A in Texas is delayed by a full month. Salter’s Cedar Hill team won’t play its first game until Oct. 2, when they’re scheduled to play Arlington (Texas) High School at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

      The plan for the University Interscholastic League, the state’s governing body for high school athletics, is to hold its Class 5A and Class 6A state championships at some point in January. Salter’s Wednesday announcement alluded to him enrolling early at Tennessee even if he is forced to decide between enrolling early or playing deep into the playoffs. He has been planning on enrolling early for months now.

      Tennessee currently has four scholarship quarterbacks in redshirt senior Jarrett Guarantano, redshirt sophomore JT Shrout, sophomore Brian Maurer and true freshman Harrison Bailey. With Guarantano set to graduate following the 2020 season, Salter will be the fourth scholarship quarterback on the roster and will likely be stepping into a quarterback battle heading into the 2021 season.

        (Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI)

        Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano was one of 48 quarterbacks named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation announced Tuesday. The award is presented annually to the top senior and upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class.

        Johnny Unitas, who the award is named after, was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing numbers include 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

        Guarantano was one of nine SEC quarterbacks named to the list. Mac Jones (Alabama), Feleipe Franks (Arkansas), Kyle Trask (Florida), Jamie Newman (Georgia), Terry Wilson (Kentucky), KJ Costello (Mississippi State), Shawn Robinson (Missouri) and Kellen Mond (Texas A&M) joined Guarantano.

        The Vols redshirt senior quarterback enters his fifth year in the program. Guarantano is coming off of a redshirt junior season in which he played in 13 games and started in seven. He led Tennessee with 2,158 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, while completing 59 percent of his passes. His 14.2 yards per completion ranked best in the SEC.

        Guarantano started all 12 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. He threw for 1,907 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with just three interceptions, which was the fewest by a Vols’ starting quarterback since Condredge Holloway also threw only three picks in 1972. Guarantano set the UT record for consecutive pass attempts (166) without an interception, breaking the old mark of 143 set by Casey Clausen in 2003. Guarantano completed 62.2 percent of his passes and finished with a 140.97 passer rating.

        The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder became Tennessee’s starting quarterback in the second half of the 2017 season. As a redshirt freshman, Guarantano started six games and appeared in nine contests. He finished with 997 passing yards and four touchdowns with a completion percentage of 62.0 percent.

        Guarantano redshirted as a true freshman in 2016 after signing with the Vols as one of the top-ranked quarterbacks in the country out of Bergen Catholic High School in Lodi, New Jersey.

          (Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI)

          Tennessee senior left guard Trey Smith told ESPN’s Chris Low on Monday that he wants to play in the 2020 college football season.

          “I want to play,” Smith told Low in an ESPN article. “I want to play safely, and that’s the consensus across the sport and all the guys I talk to.

          “We all want to play the game of football that we love. We’re all out here working our butts off in this hot sun and trying to get better at our craft and perfect our craft.”

          Smith decided to return for his senior season instead of entering the 2020 NFL Draft following a great junior season. The Jackson, Tennessee native is viewed by many to be one of the best offensive lineman in all of college football, and is viewed to have a strong chance of being a first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

          “It would tick me off to my core if we’re snubbed and that opportunity gets taken away from me to go out there and prove myself,” Smith told ESPN. “I’m not knocking any president or chancellor, who absolutely do fabulous jobs, but it would be awesome as players if we could be informed and heard from and quit finding out things about the season possibly being canceled on Twitter and in the media.”

          Smith returned last season from a medical issue involving blood clots that cost him the second half of his sophomore season. Returning to play his junior season, he played in all 13 of Tennessee’s games and started in 12 of them. Smith expressed to ESPN that he understands the risks involved with the coronavirus pandemic and is well aware that his risk factor is elevated because of his medical history.

          “It would be borderline ignorant to say that it’s not concerning,” Smith said. “We’ve definitely talked about it as a family, prayed about it and asked God to protect me. The doctors at Tennessee and Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt have been great at keeping us informed on everything. But at the end of the day, we as players have to take the proper precautions. So, yes, it’s something you weigh: Is it worth it? Is it not worth it? Ultimately, to get to my dream goals and aspirations, it’s worth the risk for me.

          “I’ve set a group of goals I want to accomplish in life, and not having the chance to play this season would be hard to grasp after everything I’ve overcome… I want to go out there and prove myself. I have a lot of doubters out there, and it really ticks me off even thinking about it. I really wanted to reintroduce myself again this season as a dominant force.”

          Smith has been named to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List and the Wuerffel Trophy Preseason Watch List entering the 2020 season. He has also been named a Preseason First-Team All-American (Athlon, Sporting News, Phil Steele), a Preseason Second-Team All-American (Walter Camp) and named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News, Phil Steele) leading into the season.

          The 6-foot-6, 335-pound offensive linemen was named a finalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award following the season and was the winner of the inaugural Fritz Pollard Trophy, given to the collegiate player who has “exemplified extraordinary courage, community values, and exceptional performance on the field.”

          Smith signed with Tennessee as the No. 1 overall player in the country according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings in the 2017 class. Smith earned All-State honors from 2015-17 as a five-star at the University School in Jackson. He was also a two-time Tennessee Mr. Football winner.

          As a true freshman, Smith started all 12 games for the Vols. He went on to earn All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team honors, in addition to Freshman All-American honors from several organizations. Smith became the first Vol true freshman to start at left tackle in over 30 years when did so against Southern Miss. He led the Vols with 55 knockdowns and finished as the SEC’s top-rated freshman offensive player (80.6) according to PFF College.

            (Photo courtesy of UTSports.com)

            Walk-on quarterback Kasim Hill is transferring from Tennessee according to a report from Fox Sports Knoxville’s Trey Wallace. The redshirt-junior is no longer listed on the team’s online roster.

            Hill transferred to Tennessee from Maryland during last fall camp. He did not appear in any games for the Vols, but played the role of scout team quarterback throughout the season.

            The 6-foot-2, 234-pound quarterback from St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C. was a four-star pro-style quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class. He signed with Maryland and was ranked as the No. 233 overall recruit and No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He held offers from Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Boston College, Vanderbilt, and others.

            Hill started the first 10 games of the season for the Terrapins in 2018, but he suffered an ACL injury that sidelined him the final two games of the season. Before the injury, Hill completed just 49.4 percent of his 170 pass attempts for 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns, and eight interceptions. His best performances of the season came against Texas and Illinois. Against the Longhorns, Hill led the Terrapins to a 34-29 victory by completing 17 of his 29 pass attempts for 222 yards and a touchdown. Against Illinois, he passed for a career-high 265 yards and three touchdowns on 11-of-19 passing.

            As a true freshman in 2017. Hill appeared in three games and made two starts for Maryland before he sustained a season-ending injury against UCF on September 23rd. He completed 85.7 percent of his 21 pass attempts for 230 yards and two touchdowns in his three appearances, adding 60 rushing yards and a score on 12 carries.

            Tennessee currently has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster heading into the 2020 season. Redshirt senior Jarrett Guarantano is the Vols’ likely starter, and he’s backed up by redshirt sophomore JT Shrout, sophomore Brian Maurer and true freshman Harrison Bailey.

              (Photo courtesy of UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman’s Twitter)

              In the wake of the Big 10 reportedly moving to cancel its 2020 football season, University of Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman met with Jeremy Pruitt’s football team on Monday afternoon, Plowman shared on Twitter.

              “This afternoon, I met with out football team and staff to have an open conversation about playing football this fall,” Plowman wrote. “At the end of our discussion, I asked if they wanted to play football and the answer was a resounding YES.

              “This group of student-athletes have worked hard to prepare for the season amidst detailed and strict healthy and safety protocols. I can’t wait to see them on the field in Neyland Stadium.”

              Plowman’s meeting with the team comes following reports on Sunday night that the Big 10 was moving to cancel the upcoming season, and that the league held a meeting with other Power 5 commissioners to see who would follow.

              No major decisions were made on Sunday night, but ESPN reported that several Power 5 conference commissioners talked about trying to collaborate if their respective presidents do decide to cancel or postpone fall sports. Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone football season, hopefully to the spring. A Big Ten official confirmed to ESPN that no official vote took place during Saturday’s meeting.

              Following Sunday night’s report, ESPN reported on Monday that the Pac-12 CEO group, made up of one president or chancellor from each of the conference’s 12 universities, will meet Tuesday and is expected to discuss and vote on how to proceed with the 2020 football season. The growing sense around the conference is that it is highly unlikely the Pac-12 will move forward with a fall season amid concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic and will look to play in the spring, if possible, sources told ESPN. An official decision will not come prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

              SEC commissioner Greg Sankey addressed the recent developments around college football on Twitter Monday morning.

              “Best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: ‘Be patient. Take time when making decisions. This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,'” Sankey wrote. “The SEC has been deliberate at each step since March…slowed return to practice…delayed 1st game to respect start of fall semester….. Developed testing protocols…

              “We know concerns remain. We have never had a (football) season in a COVID-19 environment. Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and care for student-athletes every day, and will continue to do so…every day.”

              The SEC is scheduled to begin its 10-game conference-only schedule Sept. 26. Fall camp for the Vols is slated to begin a week from today, Aug. 17.