Butch Jones addressed the Knoxville media¬†ahead of Tennessee’s home game against South Carolina on Saturday.

Radio reporter Jimmy Hyams asked Jones the final question of the day — one about defensive tackle Shy Tuttle.

The Vols’ head coach showed a bit of humor when he told Hyams, “You got the last question, and that also means a free lunch … no passing the mic!”

Jones, of course, was referring back to when Hyams passed the mic to Knoxville News Sentinel columnist John Adams a couple weeks ago, which led to a rant from the head coach.

Hyams asked how close Tuttle was to being back to full speed.

Jones said Tuttle has been resilient is “working very hard and getting better, better and better.”

“When you really look at the two injuries he’s suffered, they’ve been significant,” Jones said. “A lot of times, individuals never recover from those injuries. He’s as positive as there is. He just works. He told me this is really the first time he’s starting to feel like his old self.

“It takes time from a conditioning standpoint, and trust from those injuries. Every rep he gets is very important,” Jones added. “With every rep, whether in a game or practice situation, he becomes more and more confident in getting back to where he was as a true freshman.

“He’s always first in the training room and the last to leave. He doesn’t really say two words. He has a great personality, and he’s getting better and better each week.”

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.