Tennessee will be without one of their top players this spring. Wide receiver Alton “Pig” Howard will be taking a leave of absence this spring, although the length of time away from the team is not determined.
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones confirmed the news Tuesday through multiple reports, including Go Vols Xtra, saying Howard is dealing with personal circumstances, but the extent of those circumstances is being held in private.
Howard was Tennessee’s second-leading receiver on the Vols with 388 receiving yards and he led the Vols with three touchdown catches last season as a sophomore. Howard will be expected to be a key player in the offense again in 2014, although a crop of young receivers should benefit from a few extra reps this spring in Howard’s absence.
Tennessee will open spring practices on Friday.