Spring football officially begins at the University of Tennessee on Tuesday and the week will start out with a Derek Dooley press conference on Monday for the second year head coach to address any pre-spring questions and issues.
One of the biggest questions for the Vols and Dooley as UT prepares to begin spring practice will be the absences of two safeties.
All-American candidate Janzen Jackson has withdrawn from the University earlier this semester for undisclosed personal issues.
A lot of speculations and rumors have swirled about the talented sophomore's departure, the question remains will he return in time for fall football camp.
From an athletic standpoint, Jackson it won't hurt him to miss spring practice, but it will possibly be a tough issue to overcome for this team.
It will give other athletes a chance to step up and get some needed reps. From a team and team chemistry standpoint is what will be called into question.
How much does this team need Jackson?
There is no doubt this is a better defensive unit with the ball hawking safety in the backend for the Vols.
While the Jackson issue may not be the first question asked about at Monday's presser, it won't take long for the media to ask it.
Jackson had some personal issues during the Christmas break and missed the team's preparations for the Music City Bowl. He returned once the team arrived in Nashville and played a solid ballgame.
From a potential standpoint, the sky is the limit for this young man. It seems it's the off the field issues that is keeping him from the Vols this spring.
How far will Dooley go in supporting Jackson?
So far the Vols Head Coach has left the door open for a Jackson's return. This is a little different approach from how Dooley has handled other situations. Dooley has said on several occasions it's not his job to recruit kids back on the team. The Jackson situation appears to be a little different. ?
Dooley is standing by him during his personal issues, something he should be commended for. The million dollar questions is for how long will he stand by the standout defender.
The defensive backfield, especially the safety position seemed to be in good hands with Jackson and former baseball player Brent Brewer.
Brewer appears will miss some of spring ball, unless he is reinstated to the football team on Monday. Expect that question to be a close second for Dooley on Monday.
Who will step up and take their roles while they are gone.
Brewer got into an off the field incident earlier in the spring, Dooley hasn't commented a lot about it so far. Expect that to change this week.
Will this Tennessee defense be as good without Jackson and Brewer in the fall?
Hopefully we will get a few answers in the near future as the Vols approach the practice field on Tuesday.