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Report: Neyland jumbotron to feature former Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson

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The former linebacker helped lead Tennessee to 1998 national title.

Al Wilson Getty Images

It has been over three months since Tennessee fired head coach Butch Jones following a 50-17 loss to Missouri in what would turn out to be a 4-8 season.

In that time, Tennessee has hired a new athletic director, a new football coach, a new coaching staff, and a brought in top 20 recruiting class. Yet, the departed Jones’ image still resides on one of East Tennessee’s most recognizable and beloved structures-a reminder of one of the worst seasons in the history of a proud and historic program.

There was a time when Tennessee fans thought that school officials would act swiftly and remove the picture of a coach who led the team to their worst season in program history, or at the very least, cover it up. But that time has long passed, and fans (rightfully, so) have voiced their frustrations about it.

University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport, in a response to one such fan stated that a ‘crane had been ordered’ via Twitter, but fans continued to grow wary with nearly two months passing before any official word had come out about the future of Jones’ picture on the jumbotron.

On Wednesday, a report from Knoxville’s WVLT stated that work had finally been scheduled for school officials to remove the image.

By Friday morning another report had come out, this time from Gridiron Now’s John Brice that a replacement has already been selected, and much to the relief of Vol fans, it won’t be first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Former All-American linebacker, and team captain who was instrumental in Tennessee’s 1998 national championship run, Al Wilson will now join General Robert Neyland and former defensive end Reggie White overlooking the Tennessee River.

Wilson was also part of two SEC-title teams at Tennessee in 1997 and 1998, before being drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft by Denver.

While the consensus among fans is that a former player should take Jones’ spot on the back of the video board, the report states that it isn’t expected to be placed until at least the end of the month, or anytime before the spring game on April 21st.