Darrin Kirkland Jr.

Gameday Today: Wishing Darrin Kirkland well and thanking Lee Corso

We wish Darrin Kirkland and the team a speedy recovery, wonder who’s going to play Monday night against Georgia Tech, and extend our gratitude to Lee Corso. This and more in today’s Vols link roundup.

Darrin Kirkland out for the season

Yeah, Tennessee linebacker Darrin Kirkland’s injury is a torn meniscus and will keep him out for the entire 2017 season. Terrible news for him and for the team, and we wish them both a speedy recovery. Kirkland reportedly had two options: let his knee heal on its own and be back in maybe six weeks or opt for surgery to repair it, which provided a better long-term prognosis. Surgery was the wiser option; better for Kirkland himself, and better for the future of the program as well, but it’s also a challenge for the next four months.

Coach Jones is disappointed as well, but maintains a positive outlook:

“We did get the results back with Darrin Kirkland, and unfortunately it wasn’t the news we wanted to hear,” Jones said. “He will be out the entire season. It’s a situation we’re going in (where) obviously you never want to jump to conclusions until you get all the medical evidence that you need.

“We were hoping and we had a positive outlook that it could three-to-four-to-five weeks, but unfortunately that’s not the news that came about, so he’ll miss the entire season. I know Darrin’s extremely disappointed. His family’s extremely disappointed, but just like anything in life, he’ll be better for it and he’ll work exceptionally hard and we look forward to getting him back.”

The job now appears to be Colton Jumper’s for the long-term. The coaches are confident in Jumper’s ability to handle the job, and Jumper himself says he’s ready. There are also plenty of other linebackers on the roster available if necessary, including Cortez McDowell, Dillon Bates, Will Ignont, and others.

Quick hits

From day one, here I was thinking I’ve been hired to analyze football. You know: football, football, football, football.

What I quickly realized was he would make the comment like, ‘Michigan against Arkansas? That’s pickup trucks against Cadillacs. I’m going with the pickup truck.’ And I’m like, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’ [Herbstreit’s laughing really hard.]

I quickly learned, just through sitting by him, not to take yourself too seriously, not to sit there and just beat people over the head with analysis and statistics, and have fun.

And honestly, for 22 years, that’s how I’ve patterned my style, is by sitting next to him. If it weren’t for him, I’d be just a guy who’s out there breaking down football all the time, instead of trying to kind of humanize the sport and have fun with it.

Yep. It’s football. Have fun.

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