The mystery surrounding junior linebacker Curt Maggitt’s 2013 debut had some light shed on it Monday by Tennessee coach Butch Jones.
Jones said he “doesn’t expect” Maggitt to suit up against South Alabama on Saturday, but also hinted toward the idea of a redshirt for Maggitt depending on the developments from his rehab on a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“We’ll see where we’re at in the season,” Jones said in regards to using the redshirt. “As this season continues to progress, a lot of it will depend on his wishes and his family’s wishes as well.”
Jones said Maggitt’s status would be evaluated periodically.
“I think Curt is going to be week to week on how he progresses,” Jones said. “He’s coming off two surgeries and he’s really trying. He’s still out there but right now I don’t want to come in here and lead everyone on.
“Every week I tell you I think he’s ready,” Jones added. “I’d rather expect the worst and if it happens, it happens.”
Maggitt has not played since recording five tackles, 1.5 for a loss, one pass break-up and a career-high three quarterback hurries against Missouri on Nov. 10, 2012, before tearing his ACL.
It only took seven “very productive” snaps against Florida for freshman defensive end Corey Vereen to earn himself a gleaming mention from Jones.
Vereen, who made his debut last Saturday after suffering a knee injury in fall camp, subbed in on third down multiple times against Florida, but didn’t register on the stat sheet.
The sample size was enough to convince Jones.
Jones said he anticipates Vereen’s role to grow moving forward.
“Just having him (Vereen) back on the field gave us another edge presence,” Jones said. “He impacted the game on a number of plays. We anticipate with his health (that) he’ll play more plays this Saturday as he continues to progress.”
Senior defensive end Marlon Walls mimicked Jones’ praise for Vereen.
“I’m looking forward to watching him all week,” Walls said. “He’s got that speed back and that’s something we can definitely use on the D-line.”
Jones said he has not spoken yet to Arian Foster after the former Vol’s admission Friday that he received “money on the side” during his senior year.
“All I can speak of is our current situation,” Jones said. “We have an administration. We have a complete athletic department that’s totally aligned in our philosophies and our beliefs and our education of the student-athlete.”