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Byron Young ineligible for season opener

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Late breaking news ahead of Tennessee’s first game of the 2021 season — emerging pass rusher Byron Young will not be able to play tonight. The Volunteers face Bowling Green (8 p.m. ET, SEC Network) to begin the Josh Heupel era.

Young has been ruled ineligible, thanks to a two-game season for a prep school that was discontinued in 2017. VolQuest has the full report below.

According to the NCAA, his eligibility began during those two prep school games. However, it will not cost him a full season after the prep school team folded. Per VolQuest, Tennessee has appealed the decision.

Young committed to Tennessee back in December, coming in from the JUCO ranks. He nearly gave up on his football dreams out of high school, but got a second chance after trying out the Georgia Military Academy. Young was managing a Dollar General store at the time.

His 2020 JUCO season was canceled due to COVID, but his 2019 tape was enough to earn him some offers. He committed to Jeremy Pruitt before he was fired, and stuck with the Volunteers through the coaching change. In spring practice, Young immediately emerged as a force on the edge — a true area of need.

However, Tennessee fans will have to wait on his debut as this situation gets sorted out. Logic seems to suggest that Young will miss two games, but we’ll see what happens with the appeal.


Update: Tennessee confirms. Receivers Ramel Keyton and Jimmy Calloway are also out tonight.