Nov. 26, 2009
Jackson at the time was sixth on the team in tackles with 33 and third in pass-breakups with three. The Vols allowed two of their three highest rushing totals -- to Mississippi and Memphis -- in Jackson's absence, and Kiffin now looks for the Lake Charles, La., freshman to help fill those tackling holes.
"I'm very confident; he looks great," Kiffin said. "He will be playing every snap on defense and special teams for us and, hopefully, pick up where he left off. If you remember, the last game he played he was the SEC Freshman of the Week, so we look for him to continue that."
The Vols held their annual Thanksgiving morning practice on Thursday at Haslam Field and staged the "Last Tackle" for this year's senior class.
"I thought practice was OK today," Kiffin said. "The guys were a little loose. It's always hard on this day to keep them focused because a lot of family members are around that they are going to see afterward. We'll come back Friday and have meetings and a walk-through before we take off."
"I didn't know anything about (the Last Tackle). But I asked a couple of seniors and they said they wanted to keep doing it."
Kiffin said it will be game-time decisions on the injury status of defensive back Art Evans and defensive ends Chris Walker and Ben Martin. He gave defensive back Marsalous Johnson the green light for Saturday after Johnson had the past three games with injury.
Kiffin also announced that linebackers Savion Frazier and Greg King underwent successful surgeries Wednesday.
Kickoff Saturday against Kentucky is 7 p.m. Eastern time, with the Vol Network and ESPNU providing the coverage. The winner of the game joins Georgia in a second-place tie in the SEC Eastern Division.