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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt said Monday that there has been no change in the statuses of junior offensive lineman Trey Smith and junior defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon.

Both players are questionable for Saturday's season opener against Georgia State, with the medical staff still monitoring Smith and "trying to come up with a plan for him to play," according to Pruitt. Solomon, a transfer from Michigan, still is waiting for the results of an appeal to the NCAA that would make him immediately eligible.

Linebacker Daniel Bituli, the team's leading tackler the past two seasons, doesn't seem as though he will be ready to play by Saturday.

"It will be a push for him to be ready this week," Pruitt said.

With Bituli likely out, the Volunteers will turn to junior Will Ignont and true freshman Henry To'o To'o to fill the void of the 6-foot-3, 252-pound senior. Ignont played in all 12 games last season, starting two and finishing with 47 tackles, two for loss.

Junior Shanon Reid is listed as an "or" at the weakside linebacker position with To'o To'o.

 

Thompson suspended

Sophomore defensive back Bryce Thompson was suspended indefinitely Monday morning by Pruitt, after being arrested Saturday evening on charges of misdemeanor domestic assault.

"Bryce Thompson is suspended indefinitely while the process continues," Pruitt said in a released statement. "We hold our student-athletes to a high standard. The safety of all students is our first priority here at Tennessee."

When asked Monday if he thought Thompson — who allegedly at one point threatened to "shoot up the school" — was a risk to the student body, Pruitt referred to his previous statement and offered no further comment.

Thompson has a court date on Sept. 3 for the misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

 

Depth chart glance

The most popular word on the Vols depth chart?

"Or."

According to the depth chart, none of the offensive line positions have been settled as of yet. Same with the defensive line and three of the four linebacker positions (senior Darrell Taylor being the lone exception). In the secondary, Alontae Taylor has one corner position locked up and Nigel Warrior and Trevon Flowers are set at safety, but the cornerback position opposite Taylor will come down to true freshman Warren Burrell and junior Shawn Shamburger.

Backup quarterback also hasn't been settled, with redshirt freshman J.T. Shrout and true freshman Brian Maurer still battling for the position behind junior starter Jarrett Guarantano.

Pruitt said it's possible that all of the players on the defensive line — 10 were mentioned for the three spots — could get some playing time, or nine if Solomon is not cleared by then.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.

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