Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel announced on Thursday, after the conclusion of UT’s first spring practice, that true freshman quarterback Kaidon Salter is currently suspended from team activities.
Heupel said he doesn’t have a timetable for Salter’s return.
Josh Heupel said Kaidon Salter did not practice today because he’s part of the group that was suspended.
No timetable for return.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) March 25, 2021
Salter was among four Tennessee players who were charged with simple possession and unlawful drug paraphernalia in relation to an incident that occurred on March 9 (Aaron Willis, Martavius French, and Isaac Washington were the others).
This is obviously not a great look for Salter, who was rated as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the 2021 recruiting class (247Sports composite).
But I don’t think there’s any reason for Vol fans to be overly concerned, either.
Missing any amount of practice time is definitely not ideal. Salter is a quarterback that could be a massive difference-maker for Tennessee — he needs all the reps he can get.
However, it’s not like Salter was going to be the starting quarterback for the Vols to start the season. Salter is an extremely talented player, but there are three quarterbacks on the roster ahead of him with more experience. And each of those quarterbacks are also extremely talented.
Salter’s suspension shouldn’t impact Tennessee’s 2021 season in any way.
The bigger question, of course, is whether or not Salter will face further discipline.
I think that’s unlikely. We’ve seen plenty of players have off-the-field run-ins with police during the offseason. An in-house suspension during spring practice is fairly typical.
My guess is that Tennessee lets the legal process play out, and then announces later this summer that Salter (and the other three suspended players) has been reinstated to the team.
This is clearly a situation the Vols would have rather avoided, but I don’t think it’s something that will impact the long-term success of the program.
Featured image via Rivals