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Tennessee freshmen Kaleb Beasley and Edwin Spillman had to fight to get to Tennessee

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Tennessee’s latest boost in building its roster was on full display on Tuesday when defensive back Kaleb Beasley and linebacker Edwin Spillman took an unusual path to spring practice.

The two standouts from Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tenn., weren’t allowed to enroll at Tennessee at mid-term in January per Lipscomb’s rules. However, the pair found a loop hole to take online classes, enroll for the second session of the spring semester and make sure they were on the field this week.

“I think that we are the first ones to do this from the whole, like region,” Beasley said. “So it was definitely big. And yeah, I was excited to get here when I figured I could come in. It definitely is an advantage for sure.”

The delay had to be a bit frustrating for Tennessee considering both players were such coveted prospects. Beasley was a four-star prospect and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Tennessee by ESPN. Spillman was also a four-star prospect, who was rated one of the top 300 prospects in the nation by On3.

Beasley is quite the coveted player, especially for the Vols’ coaches. After losing seven defensive backs from last year’s team, the Vols need help in the secondary.

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“I mean I’m just playing my role of trying to get everything down,” he said. “Um, (sophomore cornerback) Ricky Gibson’s been helping me out, so I just haven’t really been worried about, like, trying to get a starting spot or anything like that. I’m trying to get everything down and get in the rhythm of it. And then, uh, when my time comes, it will come.”

Spillman may not get quite the early playing time he’d desire. The Vols seem pretty set at linebacker for now. Still, he’s ready to officially be a Vol.

“It’s been awesome,” Spillman said. “Just getting to learn how college works from the football aspect of it. And also, just like in the classroom it’s definitely been like a learning process, but (if) I miss something, I can always get better on it and improve on it. But it’s been good though so far.”

When asked about how important it was to enroll early, Spillman said, “ I just felt like it would give me an upper hand, almost, to possibly getting on the field early.”

Like Spillman, Beasley had long been a fan of the Vols. As his play improved, playing for Tennessee became a dream he finally achieved this week.

“It’s definitely a blessing for sure,” he said. “My pops helped me a lot to get here. And, like he said, he’s been a big Tennessee fan since I was a little kid. My room was Tennessee. I had Tennessee curtains and everything like that. So it’s definitely a blessing for sure.”

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