Tennessee football: Vols DL Aubrey Solomon granted eligibility waiver

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Michigan Wolverines transfer Aubrey Solomon will play this year for Tennessee football. The NCAA granted the Volunteers defensive lineman a waiver.

After eight months of waiting, Tennessee football finally has an answer for a key part of its team this year. Defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon, who transferred from the Michigan Wolverines, will be able to play.

Solomon had been waiting for an eligibility waiver from the NCAA. Austin Price of VolQuest reported Tuesday that Jeremy Pruitt finally got his answer. Solomon, who is listed as one of the potential starters on the line against the Georgia State Panthers in the first depth chart, will be able to go.

It’s impossible to understate how big of a deal this is for Tennessee football. The Vols desperately needed help on their defensive line, which was their strongest unit last year, after losing all three starters in Shy Tuttle, Alexis Johnson and Kyle Phillips. The only proven returning contributor, Emmit Gooden, suffered a season-ending injury at the start of fall camp.

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Jeremy Pruitt went the transfer route for immediate help there, bringing in junior college guys with four-star Savion Williams and three-star Darel Middleton, from Last Chance U. But Gooden’s injury only made things harder. And Solomon was the key to offsetting such an issue.

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Once a five-star recruit in 2017, Solomon showed promise with 16 total tackles as a freshman. However, an injury in 2018 limited his play, and then he transferred at the end of the season to the Vols. He practiced with the team in the spring, took part in summer workouts and was with the first team throughout fall camp, waiting for his waiver. At 6’5″ 299 pounds, his addition is huge.

Now, Tennessee football just might have enough to work with up front. Pruitt and Tracy Rocker have fallen in love with Greg Emerson, a redshirt freshman who emerged in fall camp. Somebody between Williams and Middleton is bound to be valuable as well.

Meanwhile, LaTrell Bumphus and Matthew Butler have both stood out on the end. Add in John Mincey there along with Kingston Harris, Elijah Simmons and Kurrott Garland among the tackles, and all of a sudden the Vols have enough to go three-deep everywhere on the line and are likely to find enough players among them to be productive.

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That’s a huge deal, and it helps offset what had been a horrible fall camp up to this point for the Vols considering Gooden’s injury and Bryce Thompson’s suspension. A bit of good news heading into the opening week is always welcome. This was great news for UT.