Tennessee loses difference maker on defense

Late in the third quarter, the clock showing 2:05 to be exact, the University of Tennessee defensive unit was dealt a severe blow Saturday night against the Ohio Bobcats. The Vols lost middle linebacker Nick Reveiz for the season with a knee injury. Go "Inside" this feature to see why it will be so hard to replace UT's defensive leader and team captain.

Late in the third quarter, the clock showing 2:05 to be exact, the University of Tennessee defensive unit was dealt a severe blow Saturday night against the Ohio Bobcats.

No they didn't give up a touchdown to Ohio at that point in the game; this was when junior middle linebacker Nick Reveiz went down with a knee injury.

It was obvious from the onset that the injury looked serious; the talented defender left the field without putting any weight on the leg.

The Volunteers had dealt with several injuries this summer and fall; this one has to be one of the most devastating ones for several reasons.

Reveiz, a junior walk-on from Farragut High School, the son of former Volunteer Fuad Reveiz has earned everything he has received, including the respect of his fellow teammates.

"It's going to be crazy without him," fellow linebacker Rico McCoy said. "He is our leader, he is the one that keeps us lined up physically and focused mentally."

Soon after the injury occurred, Reveiz parents could be seen on the sidelines comforting their son. It was obvious it was serious; both parents had tears in their eyes as well as the middle linebacker.

Despite being injured and knowing his season was over, Reveiz hopped over to his teammates on crutches to fire up the troops.

"I got knocked out on one play, the next thing I see is Nick coming over on crutches checking on me," Nigel Mitchell-Thornton said. "He is our leader, both physically and emotionally, it isn't going to be the same without him."

Reveiz work ethic is recognized by all on the Tennessee Football team.

"He is one of our hardest workers in the weight room," Coach Lane Kiffin said in an earlier interview. "He is our leader, he will be hard to replace."

Reveiz, the son of a kicker, admitted in an earlier interview that things didn't come easy for him on the football field and that he had to work extremely hard for everything that he had earned.

"I have always had to work harder than most," Reveiz explained. "I have always come early and stay late, that just how it's always been."

Now without his services, his fellow teammates will have to step and take his lead once again.

"The younger guys have to step up," Kiffin said. "We have a lot of young talent at the position, we just need someone to come forward and become a difference maker."

A difference maker is something that Reveiz has been, after he left the ballgame against Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers began having success. The same could be said after his injury this past Saturday.

It's the little things that Reveiz did that will be hard to replace, but he isn't gone, he just not playing anymore this season.

You can expect him to be roaming the sidelines, leading and doing whatever it takes to fire up his troops, that just how he does things.


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