Prugh earns grant; more to follow?

Phillip Fulmer has awarded a scholarship to senior center Chuck Prugh, and Tennessee's head football coach may not be done yet.

The impending departure of two mopup players -- defensive tackle Andre Taylor and safety Shannon Benton -- frees up two scholarships that Fulmer can (a) award to walk-ons or (b) hold for next February's signing class.

Fulmer presently has 20 scholarships available for the 2004 signing class. The Vol boss had just 17 two months ago, but the departures of receiver Montrell Jones (dismissed for violating team rules), Taylor and Benton provides a little more breathing room on the signing front. The number could go still higher if the Vols suffer any academic casualties or any underclassmen elect to turn pro following the 2003 season.

Thus, Fulmer may consider giving grants to a couple more worthy walk-ons. Matt McGlothlin, a 6-1, 290-pound freshman from Pounding Mill, Va., turned some heads with his energy and run-stuffing ability last spring. With LaRon Harris ineligible and Taylor leaving school, McGlothlin projects to be one of UT's top five D-tackles this fall.

Another walk-on who could earn a grant is Cory Anderson, A 6-2, 240-pound defensive end/linebacker from Knoxville's Austin-East High School, he signed a scholarship with UT two years ago but failed to qualify for admission. He subsequently got his academics in order and rejoined the program as a non-scholarship player. He does not figure in Tennessee's rotation at end or linebacker this fall but could be a contributor in 2005.

As for Prugh, he earned his scholarship with two years of hard work as the primary backup for center Scott Wells. Prugh is again listed second on the depth chart behind Wells entering fall practice. He might also figure in the mix at guard.

A two-time all-state pick at Maryville High School, Prugh spent a year at Carson-Newman College before transferring to UT.

''I'm really excited to be able to award Chuck a scholarship,'' Fulmer said. ''He is a model young man as a person and student and has worked his way into a contributing role on our football team. It always is wonderful to be able to help a young man who has walked on and earned a reward such as this.''

Prugh has appeared in five games for the Vols, including four last year.

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