Tennessee coach Butch Jones announced that starting left tackle Jacob Gilliam will miss the remainder of the season during his weekly press conference Tuesday. Gilliam, who earned a scholarship after joining the team as a walk-on, suffered a torn ACL injury in the Vols’ opening game against Utah State.
“It’s very very unfortunate,” Jones said of Gilliam’s injury. “I feel for him and his family. He’s a young man that– I love him to death. A walk-on who earned his scholarship, he earned it. It’s very very unfortunate but that’s football and we’ll need to have the next guy in. But I just feel for Jacob just because he’s earned the respect of his peers and put himself in the position to be our starting left tackle.”
Brett Kendrick, Dontavius Blair and Coleman Thomas will compete for the starting job at left tackle in Gilliam’s absence.
The redshirt senior made his first career start Sunday after making three previous appearances for Tennessee. The Knoxville native enrolled earned a scholarship from the program and Coach Jones on May 21, 2014.
Gilliam started two years at left tackle for Knoxville-area Farragut High School, helping the team reach a 21-5 record. He earned All-Region honors as a junior and All-District and All-KIL accolades as a senior.