One of the odder Week 4 developments took yet another, and perhaps final, twist on Monday.
Initial reports over the weekend had Quart’e Sapp pulling a Vontae Davis and quitting on Tennessee in the midst of a 26-point loss to rival Florida this past Saturday; Jeremy Pruitt subsequently clarified that the linebacker had merely refused to enter the game when told and had been banished to the locker room; Sapp subsequently sent out a tweet in which he proclaimed he “was never asked nor did I refuse to go into the game.”
Regardless of what exactly went down this past Saturday, the developments left the linebacker’s future with the Vols up in the air. Monday, Pruitt confirmed that, after speaking man-to-man with Sapp and acknowledging that “everybody makes mistakes,” the redshirt junior will remain as a part of his football team.
“I’ve coached at a lot of places, and I’ve seen things like this happen before,” Pruitt said by way of the Associated Press. “I’ve seen guys not show up to practice on Tuesday, not show up to practice on Wednesday. When you’re dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds and there’s lots of things going on, things happen. Quart’e has been nothing but a great ambassador for our program, a really good student and (has) been a good leader for our team.”
After starting eight games last season, Sapp had been relegated to second-team linebacker the first four games of a 2018 season in which the Vols are 2-2 but have lost both of its games versus Power Five competition.