After three weeks of grueling practices, the Tennessee Volunteers got a much needed day of rest Thursday.
Camp Kiffin will officially end Saturday afternoon when the Vols go through their last pre-season scrimmage, one that is expected to be focused on light contact and situational work.
"Our players have worked extremely hard," Coach Lane Kiffin said in an earlier interview. "We will close out fall camp with a practice on Friday and a tune up on Saturday."
The team will return Monday focusing on game preparations for its season opener on September 5 against Western Kentucky.
Wednesday three hour practice ended with perhaps the best news of fall camp. True freshman Bryce Brown was cleared by the NCAA, it was announced at practice that he would be playing in all the Volunteer games this season.
After several key injuries in the off season and during fall camp, the Volunteers were due some good news.
"First of all it's great for this young man," Kiffin said. "He is doing everything the right way. His grades have been great since his arrival here and he wrote an in depth letter in his own words to the NCAA that detailed his ordeal and what he was going through."
The team responded with a roar of approval.
Look for the NCAA's decision to impact the Vols in several positive ways.
First it will allow Tennessee to move ahead with its prep for the season opener against the Hilltoppers. Delaying a decision would have been unfair on several different notes.
Now this team can turn all its focus on the 2009 season without any other distractions.
"It's definitely good to get this behind us," Kiffin noted. "Bryce has handled the situation as well as to be expected but you know he had to be thinking about. Now we can move forward."
Tennessee will hold its weekly Coach Kiffin press conference next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Kickoff for the Western Kentucky will be at 12:21 p.m. eastern time.