Freshman wide receiver Josh Malone will see an expanded role in Tennessee’s matchup Saturday against No. 13 Georgia, according to head coach Butch Jones. Jones noted that the former five-star prospect will see more targets with several receivers facing injuries.

“Josh Malone will be an individual who has gained valuable repetitions,” Jones said during his weekly press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. “But his role will continue to expand and very rightfully so. He’s worked exceptionally hard. He’s starting to understand the small details of what it takes to play championship football at the receiver position: the work ethic, the practice habits. I thought he had a very good work week last week.”

Malone has appeared in all three games for Tennessee this season as a backup wide receiver. He currently has five catches for 63 yards.

The former Station Camp High School standout enrolled at Tennessee this past January to make a quick adjustment to the collegiate level. According to Jones, Malone has made great strides of improvement and should excel in his new role.

“Practice habits, work capacity, the volume of repetitions, mental toughness, all of that,” Jones said of Malone’s improvements. “And that’s a byproduct of enrolling early, and that’s attributed to him, but also, it’s Zach Azzanni. Josh holds on every word that he says, and he’s working exceptionally hard now, and he’s really worked his practice habits, and you have to be able to take the practice field to the game field, and he’s been able to do that.

“And he’s played consistently, every time he’s gone in there, he’s caught the football, he’s advanced the football, he’s blocked, he’s done everything that we’ve asked of him. He’s been a quiet, consistent performer for us.”

Tennessee will be without No. 2 wide receiver Von Pearson. The former JUCO All-American caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, before suffering a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of a breakout Week 2 performance. Sophomore Josh Smith, who saw a drastic improvement in his second season, is also battling a high ankle sprain and will be further evaluated leading up to Saturday’s game.