KNOXVILLE — One of Tennessee's promising football freshmen will have his career interrupted before it really even starts.
Alton "Pig" Howard likely will miss preseason training camp next month after undergoing foot surgery on Friday, a source inside the Volunteers' football program told the Times Free Press on Saturday morning.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound four-star signee had been splitting time between receiver and running back and showed impressive speed during workouts. The Vols signed Howard, Drae Bowles, Jason Croom and junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson to bolster their thin receiving corps.
Cody Blanc, an early enrollee, began his UT career at receiver, though he also was projected as a safety.
Howard, an Orlando, Fla., resident, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that he was recovering from surgery. A fracture was the reason for the surgery, the source said.
Howard picked Tennessee over Central Florida and also had scholarship offers from Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina and Southern Cal, among others. He enrolled at UT in June.
"[Shoutout] to VFL fans thanks for the support," Howard wrote on his Twitter page Saturday. "I'll be back running around in 5 to 6 weeks, no worries God has my back."
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...