Originally coming to Knoxville as a linebacker in 2015, Tennessee defender Austin Smith switched to defensive end before an injury ended his 2016 season before it even started.
However, when spring practice opened on Tuesday, Smith was back with the linebackers.
According to 247Sports, coach Butch Jones said Smith’s move dates back to last year, but now that he’s healthy, he expects it to be more permanent:
“You guys asked me about position changes yesterday, and I didn’t say anything, but that position change happened toward the end of (last) year,” Jones said. “Austin Smith has moved back to linebacker.”
The redshirt sophomore will likely have a chance to see some major reps for the Vols this spring, as defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has said he wants to see the team use more of a 4-3 defense.
If he can stay healthy, Smith will likely improve upon his three-tackle total from 2015.