Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt was quick to dish out lofty praise for true freshman linebacker Henry To’oto’o after UT’s fifth fall practice.
But that wasn’t the only true freshman that Pruitt talked up on Wednesday.
Quavaris Crouch, a four-star linebacker, was also the recipient of some “Pruitt praise”.
The second year Vols head coach called Crouch a “playmaker” and said “he’s another guy whose motor is always running and he’s flying around”.
Of course, Crouch is still a young player, so there are still some growing pains for the Charlotte native. Pruitt said that lots of times Crouch is “not doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing”.
Crouch worked mostly as a third down pass rusher in the spring, but during fall camp he’s been working in first and second down situations.
Pruitt has mentioned on several occasions that he teaches the defense “conceptually”, which gives his team more versatility. By the end of fall camp, Crouch (and the other linebackers) should pretty much be able to play any of the linebacker positions. If someone gets hurt (or is ineffective), this will allow Pruitt to shuffle the linebacker group around to find the best combination.
For now, Crouch’s biggest disadvantage to early playing time is a lack of experience. He’s clearly a talented kid who should have a lot of success at Tennessee.
Much like To’oto’o, there’s a good chance that Crouch isn’t a starter at the beginning of the season, but I doubt Pruitt will keep him on the bench for too long. He’s simply too talented to not be a key component of the Vols’ defense in 2019.
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