Tennessee Vols morning report: UGA date changing, Jalen Hurd exposes Butch Jones

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Vols changing their series date with the Georgia Bulldogs and Jalen Hurd on Butch Jones leads our Volunteers news for Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

The biggest event that happened for Tennessee Vols fans Wednesday was watching the Florida Gators beat the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. After all, UT has to face LSU on the road Saturday, and this game affected their SEC Championship prospects.

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of news surrounding Rocky Top. Our morning update will focus on all of those things. We lead with multiple football stories, including news surrounding a series date with a rival in the future and coverage of Jeremy Pruitt’s recruiting.

On top of that, we have a preview of a game to bring you tonight and a recap of swimming and diving SEC Championships. Recognition of women’s tennis stars also are a big part of today’s coverage. So let’s dive in, beginning with the football news.

Tennessee-Georgia series date to change – Jackson Fryburger, UGAWire.com

The Tennessee Vols football team is going to change up its date with the Georgia Bulldogs in the near future. This comes due to Georgia’s plan to switch up its date with the Auburn Tigers, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

"Starting in 2020, the annual rivalry game will be played earlier in the season, swapping places with the late-September/early-October Georgia-Tennessee game.This is a significant change, given that the Georgia-Auburn series has been played in November since 1937 aside from the 2017 SEC Championship game."

Jalen Hurd reflects on time with UT – Chase Goodbread, NFL.com

Former Tennessee football running back Jalen Hurd reflected on his time with the Vols in an interview released Wednesday. The five-star commitment in the 2014 class transferred midway through 2016 and finished his college career this past year with the Baylor Bears. He exposed Butch Jones in one part of the interview, admitting that he came into the game against the Georgia Bulldogs after a concussion and saying Jones told him to lie about it.

"According to Hurd, Jones told him a public announcement of a lower-extremity injury would be in Hurd’s best interest, because a concussion would be more of a red flag for NFL scouts. Hurd was fine with the suggestion, and Jones made the announcement at a post-game news conference. Jones called it an upper-body injury later in the week, but ultimately never addressed it with any public specificity."

Mel Kiper touts Jeremy Pruitt’s recruiting – Patrick Brown, GoVols247

NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. touted Tennessee football’s 2019 recruiting class. Despite having no Vols in his NFL Draft for this year, he said he expects that to change in the coming year under Jeremy Pruitt.

"“It’s just a case of just building it,” Kiper said during a conference call on Tuesday. “I think Jeremy Pruitt, the recruiting class coming in this year, is outstanding.”"

Derrick Tinsley on Harrison Bailey – Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com

Former Tennessee football running back Derrick Tinsley touted 2020 UT quarterback commitment Harrison Bailey. Tinsley coaches the four-star prospect at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga.

"“Me being a football player all of my life, just looking at Harrison, I think he is way ahead of his time,” Tinsley said. “I believe he can make every throw on the football field, mentally he continues to get better and has the prototypical size.”"

Lady Vols to visit Texas A&M – Will Backus, UT Daily Beacon

The Tennessee women’s basketball team will look to win its third straight game and its sixth of seven games Thursday night at the No. 21 ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Coming off a huge upset win at the Missouri Tigers and at 17-8 and 6-6 in the SEC, they’ll be looking to continue moving up the SEC ranks with another road upset over the Aggies, who are 19-6 and 8-4 in the SEC.

"The two teams have met only 12 times since the first matchup in 1997. Tennessee has won eight of those games, with all four losses in the series at the hands of current Aggies head coach Gary Blair.The Lady Vols are 1-2 all time in College Station, losing two straight while on the road. The two teams met twice last year, splitting wins in each game. The team that Tennessee will see this year is entirely different, however."

Swimming and Diving drops at SEC Championships – SECSports

The Tennessee Vols men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams dropped in the second day of SEC Championships. After being in first, the Lady Vols dropped to No. 2, and the men’s team dropped from No. 4 to No. 5. They captured five medals overall.

"The 2019 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships continues on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. ET with the preliminaries for the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free and the women’s 3-meter diving, followed by the finals of those four events starting at 6 p.m. ET. Both sessions can be viewed on SEC Network+."

Women’s tennis Vols rise in rankings – UTSports

Tennessee Lady Vols tennis stars Sadie Hammond and Kaitlin Staines jumped to No. 9 in the ITA National doubles rankings Wednesday while Johanna Silva came in at No. 121 for singles. That No. 9 ranking is the highest by a doubles team since 2013.

"The senior, Hammond, and sophomore, Staines, have previously been ranked No. 33 (Nov. 14) and No. 17 (Feb. 6) during this season’s ITA rankings releases.Hammond and Staines are 13-0 as a duo dating back to the Tennessee Fall Invite in October 2018, including a 7-0 mark in dual matches this spring. The duo has been a contributing factor in the Lady Vols (6-2) winning the doubles point in seven of their eight matches this season."

Maia Haumuller co-SEC Freshman of the Week – SECSports 

Tennessee women’s tennis player Maia Haumuller was named the SEC Co-Freshman of the week after going undefeated in singles and doubles play last week. She shared the award with Kentucky’s Tiphanie Fiquet.

"Tennessee’s Maia Haumuller clinched the match for Tennessee against Indiana with a 6-1, 7-5 singles win over Somer Henry at the No. 6 spot. Against South Florida, she allowed only four points to Nicole Dzenga, winning 6-3, 6-1. Partnered with Tenika McGiffin, they clinched the doubles point for Tennessee against South Florida with a 6-1 win over Amelie Boy and Evelyne Tiron at the No. 2 doubles spot."