Vols to open third Spring under 2022 SEC Coach of the Year Josh Heupel

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Tennessee football opened its third spring under head coach Josh Heupel on Monday morning as momentum continues to thrive following one of the most memorable seasons in program history that culminated in the Orange Bowl 80 days ago.

The Volunteers will practice four times during the first week. All practices are closed to the public. The 2023 spring roster is available on UTsports.com.

Tennessee welcomes back seven starters from the nation’s No. 1 offense led by Orange Bowl most valuable player Joe Milton III, who enters his third season with the program and sixth at the collegiate level. Milton III served as the backup to his roommate Hendon Hooker last season and completed 53-of-82 passes for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception during his entire UT career.

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The Vols enhanced their defensive roster thanks in large to part to a top-10 recruiting class. UT retained every defensive assistant coach for the second-straight season and returned three of its top four tacklers, including linebacker Aaron Beasley, who tallied 76 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss in 2022. Beasley was all over the field in his final game of the season, registering 12 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks in an Orange Bowl win over Clemson.

Heupel’s trajectory of the program has been remarkable. Two springs ago—less than two months on the job—he took over a roster that was decimated by the NCAA transfer portal. An identity was forged that carried into the fall of 2021. A seven-win season and a top-10 offense was followed by an 11-win campaign and a No. 6 final ranking in 2022.

Heupel’s revival of the Volunteers has seen him produce an 18-8 overall record and seven victories over Top 25 teams at the time of meeting. This offseason he tabbed quarterback coach Joey Halzle as his new offensive coordinator, continuing a seamless transition of offensive football.

The Vols will practice 14 times over the next four weeks, leading up to the annual Orange & White Game on Saturday, April 15 in Neyland Stadium. Start time is 2:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+/ESPN+.

Premium and non-premium seating will be available for the contest. Admission is $5 for non-premium seats, and all proceeds will count as a contribution to the My All Campaign. All seats can be secured now at AllVols.com or by calling the UT Athletic Ticket Office at (865) 656-1200. All open sections of the bowl of Neyland Stadium will be general admission seating.

The south end of Neyland Stadium will be closed as progress continues on several fan experience enhancements. Sections G through Q and GG through QQ will be closed, as well as gates 1 through 12.

Fans will be treated to the first-ever Vol Village Music Festival located in Lot 9 featuring live bands on stage from noon to 2 p.m. Vol Village will also feature food trucks, an appearance by the Spirit Squad, sponsor activations and fun activities for all ages. Additional information on musical artists will be announced at a later date.