According to a statement released by Tennessee Volunteers head football coach Butch Jones on Friday night, highly touted freshman defensive end/linebacker Corey Vereen will be out five-to-six weeks while recovering from knee surgery. Vereen suffered a sprain of his MCL during practice last Tuesday.
Vereen is expected to play the “Leo” position for the Volunteers, which is a hybrid position of defensive end and linebacker. Unfortunately for Tennessee, fellow “Leo” player Jacques Smith will also be out four-to-six weeks due to a broken thumb.
Vereen was a three-star prospect coming out of high school according to 247sports and impressed coaches by enrolling at Tennessee early. Associate head coach Steve Stripling raved about the young man’s attitude and dedication:
I love him. I promise you, at nine o’clock at night you’ll find him in (the football complex) doing something. He is the most motivated freshman I’ve ever seen in my career. He is unbelievable. (GoVolsExtra.com)
Considering the Volunteers open the season against FCS opponent Austin Peay, it’s unlikely they’ll need either Smith or Vereen to rush their respective recovery processes. Still, we wish them all the best as they get healthy in time for the SEC season.