Tennessee defensive linemen Maurice Couch, left, and Daniel Hood practice Friday at Haslam Field in Knoxville. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young)
KNOXVILLE — Three veterans who could play pivotal roles in Tennessee’s defense are getting late on-field introductions to the Vols’ new coaching staff.
Defensive tackle Maurice Couch, who’s played in every game in the past two seasons, missed all of spring ball with a shoulder injury. Safety Brian Randolph tore his ACL in the third week of last season and missed a good chunk of the spring. Linebacker Curt Maggitt tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of the Vols’ four-overtime loss to Missouri. He watched from the sidelines this spring.
All three are back, all three will play significant snaps in Tennessee’s defense this year, and all three could be starters by the time camp is finished.
Coaches have gotten to know the players off the field, but they haven’t seen them take a real snap until this week. Coach Butch Jones said he hasn’t sold any of them short.
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