Between injuries and players leaving the program for various reasons, Tennessee is increasingly thin at linebacker. But that’s why it’s important to have versatility among the players still on the roster. That’s what the Vols have in Quavaris Crouch.

Coach Jeremy Pruitt explained on the SEC coaches media teleconference how Crouch fits the bill there.

“When we recruit linebackers, we would like to sign guys that are 4 for 4, which means they can play all four positions,” Pruitt said. “They have instincts, can drop into coverage, good blitzers, can rush the quarterback, can play the gap. Quavaris is one of those guys, if we sign 4 linebackers, we like 2 to be that way and one being an inside guy and another be an outside guy.”

Crouch has recently moved from outside to inside linebacker.

“That’s the thing, he practice 15 days of that, we did not move him to outside linebacker until fall camp,” Pruitt said. “I like to teach them inside out, we knew he could do it… it’s been a seamless transition for him moving back inside and taking some reps there.”

Here’s what else Pruitt said:

  • on injury update on Warren Burrell or Aubrey Solomon: Warren practiced both days this week, he was hurt Wednesday and he really wanted to play; I see both of those guys being available on Saturday.
  • on Riley Locklear: he is being evaluated, he is going through the protocol that we have. He is a game-time decision
  • on defending a running QB: I think it puts pressure on the playcaller… if you are playing coverage, you have guys running downfield and you have to manage the quarterback… there are read plays that they run that stretch you sideline to sideline, they make you defend the entire field.
  • on TE Dominick Wood Anderson: He has playmaking ability, he is hard to guard, he has improved this year… We have playmakers that we have struggled to get the ball but starting last week, we had the opportunity to get some of these guys the ball more.
  • on Mississippi State blitzing: They pressure a lot, if you looked at them from a base, they are probably a quarter team… They rush 5, some times they man zone some times man, so they give a lot of different looks on defense… they attack the ball, get it from them… Coach (Bob) Shoop has done well since he’s been there.