Tennessee Vols defensive back Shawn Shamburger didn’t see any action in UT’s season opening loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers.
But that doesn’t mean Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt has lost faith in the sophomore.
Appearing on “Vol Calls” on Wednesday, Pruitt alluded to Shamburger being inconsistent in practice, saying “Shawn’s learned a lot of things since we’ve been here….one of the things that’s important to me is being consistent on the practice field”.
Not playing on Saturday apparently lit a fire under Shamburger. Pruitt said the Georgia native’s had a good week of practice.
Shamburger played in 11 games for the Vols as a freshman in 2017. He made his first (and only) career start against Alabama last October. Shamburger led the Volunteers with 12 tackles against the Crimson Tide.
Pruitt spoke highly of Shamburger’s ability on Wednesday, saying “Shawn has talent. He’s a competitor, but he’s got to learn to do it all the time. I think he’s doing that. He’s a young player.” Pruitt added “He’ll mature over time and I think he’s got a chance to be a good one.”
That’s good news for Tennessee, because the Vols need all the help they can get in the secondary. The unit struggled mightily, outside of true freshman Alontae Taylor, in the season-opening loss to West Virginia. Though to be fair, that’s likely the most potent passing attack Tennessee will face this season.
Maybe Shamburger just needed a wake up call. He has the talent to be a difference maker for the Vols.
But he’s going to have to prove he can do it Sunday through Friday before it can happen on Saturdays.
Featured image via Knox News