Tennessee football underwent its first scrimmage on Thursday, and Cooper Mays was sidelined.
After missing several days of practice this week, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel updated his status.
“Coop had a minor procedure late (Wednesday) and he’ll be back, he’ll be healthy, as we get close to kickoff,” Heupel said. “Anticipate that being a couple-week deal. Today we rotated through a bunch of guys, Ollie Lane, Parker Ball, young guys, Vysen (Lang), Addison Nichols. Those guys are all competing for those spots. All of those guys have taken some reps, even when Cooper’s here too, s we continue to look for that backup center spot.”
Ollie Lane had been running the first-team center in Mays’ absence. Mays, a former Knoxville Catholic standout, was an All-SEC preseason selection. Lane is also a Knoxville native, attending Gibbs High School.
Lane had a good day at the scrimmage, according to Heupel.
“Ollie, really smart,” Heupel said. “Played a lot of football, has played multiple positions, was repped at the three interior spots since the time that we’ve gotten here. He’s been really good in communication, the mechanics, us being able to play with tempo the way that we want to when it presents itself. It’s been really easy for him to transition inside.”
The scrimmage on Thursday was the first of fall camp for Tennessee football. Heupel was pleased with several things from the scrimmage, including offensive play and the defensive front.
“Offensively and defensively, really good day,” Heupel said. “I think we got out relatively clean today too, which is important. I thought defensively great energy, great effort, in particular, really early in the scrimmage. Did a great job against the run early too, and got off the field on some third downs. And offensively, created some plays on the back half of the scrimmage (in the) run game and a couple plays in the pass game too. So all in all, really good day. We got a lot, lot ahead of us. We gotta grow, and that starts this afternoon when they come back to us too. But all in all, really excited about what happened today.”