Vols LB Darrin Kirkland Jr Out For the Year With Knee Injury


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr.’s knee injury will prevent him from playing at all this season, leaving the 25th-ranked Volunteers without one of their projected top defenders.

Vols coach Butch Jones announced the severity of Kirkland’s injury Friday. Jones said Wednesday that Kirkland had undergone meniscus surgery earlier that day but said at the time there wasn’t yet a timetable for the junior’s potential return.

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Jones said that “we had a positive outlook that it could be three to four to five weeks, but unfortunately that’s not the news that came about.”

Kirkland made 45 tackles last season despite missing five games with a high ankle sprain.

Colton Jumper will take over Kirkland’s spot at Mike linebacker Monday when Tennessee opens the season against Georgia Tech at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.