Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III is practicing for the Citrus Bowl. However, it’s still unclear if he’ll play in the game and, if so, how much.
Per a University of Tennessee spokesman when asked about Milton’s availability, “We haven’t said who is or who isn’t confirmed for the bowl game.”
When asked if there was a timeframe for any sort of announcement, Tennessee’s Sports Information Department messaged Off The Hook Sports with the following: “each player can certainly make their own announcements via social media.”
That’s not a ringing endorsement for Milton to take the first snap when the Vols face off against Iowa. Instead, it seems that Tennessee – or at least the Vols’ Sports Information Department – is being kept in the dark concerning a pending Milton announcement even if there is one. Why hasn’t such a decision been announced? Perhaps it’s because the decision hasn’t been made.
The following message was posted on Off The Hook Sports’ YouTube Page on a message board attached to a video debating whether or not Milton will play in the Citrus Bowl. Although the YouTube comment couldn’t be 100-percent verified, it certainly seems to be from the Milton family, namely Milton’s father, Joe Milton and has been consistent with other messages under the same YouTube username.
@joemilton5742 • 5 hours ago
I understand that everyone has there opinions about my son, and that’s understandable. But truth be told he has done well on what he was freaking giving (sic). So it’s time to give it a rest, if my son decides to play it’s his freaking choice and I fully stand behind any decision he chooses.
While Milton, by all accounts, will be able to choose whether or not he plays for the Vols in the Citrus Bowl, each day brings growing doubt that he’ll play in the game. That would seemingly open the door for freshman Nico Iamaleava’s highly anticipated debut.
It’s important to note that one source close to the situation said Milton wouldn’t be practicing if he didn’t intend on playing. However, the question seems to be whether or not he is even sure. That situation needs to resolve itself as the Vols are set to land in Orlando on Dec. 26 late in the afternoon. The first on-site bowl practice will be held on Dec. 27. The Citrus Bowl will kickoff at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 1.
Milton was not made available to the media this week, which is a bit unusual for a starting quarterback not to visit with reporters before what could potentially be his last game. However, Tennessee has not made many players available since the Vols began practice last week. That could well be by design.
Does Tennessee know who its starter will be at quarterback against the Hawkeyes? It certainly doesn’t seem so.