Updated with more information at 6 p.m. on June 18, 2020.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer and head football coach Jeremy Pruitt continue to provide optimistic remarks regarding the Volunteers staging a 2020 season.
Senior running back Tim Jordan, however, will not be a part of the Vols moving forward.
The 5-foot-11, 219-pounder from Bartow, Florida, has been dismissed from the program, said Pruitt, who held a Zoom meeting Thursday afternoon with reporters. Jordan was arrested late last month by the Lakeland (Florida) Police Department and charged with carrying a concealed firearm, possessing narcotic paraphernalia and possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana.
Jordan rushed for 522 yards as a sophomore in 2018, including a 20-carry, 118-yard performance in the season opener against West Virginia, and he added another 428 yards on the ground last season, when he made four starts. His rushing output last year ranked third on the team behind Ty Chandler (655 yards) and Eric Gray (539), who will be returning for their senior and sophomore seasons, respectively.
"We have plenty of guys who are very capable, starting with Ty Chandler," Pruitt said. "He's a guy who has played a lot of ball. Eric Gray will be in his second year, and Carlin Fils-aime is a guy who was a running back early on in his career. We moved him, and he unfortunately suffered an injury last year, but he's a guy who has experience.
"We've got guys who we've signed who are in here working, so we have guys there at that position who will get an opportunity. We have confidence in those guys."
Pruitt expressed confidence in all of his newcomers, who are transitioning to a roster that contains eight starters on each side of the ball from an 8-5 team that topped Indiana in the Gator Bowl. The NCAA this week provided dates to make up for lost time this spring, with the current voluntary workouts becoming "summer access activities" on July 13, with meetings and walkthroughs being added July 24.
Tennessee is scheduled to start preseason practices Aug. 7 in preparation for its Sept. 5 opener against the Charlotte 49ers, who are guided by former Boyd-Buchanan quarterback and former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga receivers coach Will Healy.
"All of our young guys will have an opportunity," Pruitt said. "They all have the physical talent to contribute. You always want to be cautious that freshmen don't have unrealistic expectations put on them. We just want them to get a little bit better each day, because the opportunities will present themselves, and they will have a chance to take advantage of that."
Pruitt said he and his staff will spend upcoming days formulating a plan to navigate the new dates the NCAA allotted.
Fulmer released a video Thursday morning that served as another upbeat message about the upcoming season, noting in his comments that Tennessee recently passed the 90% mark in season-ticket renewals.
"As long as the curve and trends continue to move in the right direction, I'm confident we will be playing football in Neyland Stadium this fall," Fulmer said in respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Please continue to do your part and drive that curve down."
Pruitt's Zoom meeting transpired more than a week after his appearance on ESPN Radio's "Golic and Wingo," when he discussed talking with players amid the Black Lives Matter movement and how the Vols are handling virus testing during the pandemic. He said then that no Vols players had tested positive and added Thursday that there are still no positive tests among the team.
Receivers coach Tee Martin drew Pruitt's praise for enhancing Tennessee's community culture in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, not only for getting feedback from players but acting upon it.
"One of the things we want to do is wear black jerseys when we play Kentucky," Pruitt said. "When the game is over with, we want to find a way to auction the jerseys and raise money for Black Lives Matter. That's just one thing that our kids have talked about, and it's something that is going to continue to be stressed within our staff."
Pruitt also said the process of getting all Tennessee players registered to vote began Thursday.