It seems like Tennessee football can’t get out of its own way amidst all the other issues facing the program. As Josh Heupel continues to try to rebuild the Vols, he keeps getting hit with things messing up his personnel.
Over the weekend, something else happened that did just that. According to WBIR, two freshmen are now facing misdemeanor drug charges after a traffic stop Saturday morning. One of them was offensive lineman Amari McNeill. The other was quarterback Kaidon Salter.
This is the second time Salter has faced such charges, and the first kept him out of Tennessee football’s spring practice along with freshman defensive lineman Isaac Washington, freshman linebacker Aaron Willis and redshirt freshman linebacker Martavius French. Washington and French have since entered the transfer portal.
Although these charges don’t seem serious, you have to think that Salter could be in real danger of now getting kicked off the team. As a dual-threat four-star, he could have been the perfect player to run Heupel’s system. This second legal issue in a matter of months is a big deal.
McNeill isn’t the same in multiple ways. It’s his first legal issue, for starters, so based on the precedent Heupel already set, he almost certainly won’t be dismissed. At the same time, he also was a three-star offensive lineman. Although there is necessary depth up front, his position isn’t as key as Salter’s is.
We’ll have to see how this all plays out, but this is definitely something the Vols didn’t need at the moment. Salter and Joe Milton were supposed to make the quarterback race in fall camp much more interesting, and Salter may not be a part of that now.
Of course, Tennessee football still has some options at both positions, as Harrison Bailey, Hendon Hooker and Brian Maurer are all also at quarterback right now alongside Milton. The offensive line is a fluid situation with some real talent there. Still, this creates more issues.