Tennessee Volunteer true freshman wide receiver Preston Williams has been cleared by the NCAA to rejoin the football team after a lengthy absence from the team. Tennessee head coach Butch Jones took to Twitter on Thursday to make the good news official.
Vols’ wide receivers coach, Zach Azzanni, soon followed with a tweet of his own.
The former 5-star High School All-American from Hampton, Ga., was deemed ineligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse just prior to the start of fall camp after his ACT test score was red-flagged. In order to return to the Tennessee football program, Williams would have to retake the standardized test and score within a reasonable margin of the red-flagged test. He re-took the test on Aug. 10 and was finally deemed eligible by the NCAA 17 days later.
Williams, who is in the late stages of recovering from an ACL tear last fall, was on track to participate in fall camp. There also was some optimism that he would be able to begin the season in the Vols’ wide receiver rotation. He is still expected to play a contributing role in Tennessee’s 2015 offense. However, Williams’ Vol debut may come later than originally expected after missing fall camp, which can be viewed as a positive in terms of allowing his knee to be at optimum strength upon his return to game action. He will be eligible to join the team and practice immediately.
The elite 6-foot-4, 209-pound receiver was considered one of the top players in America coming out of high school. Williams chose the Vols fairly early in the recruiting process, but continued to entertain other offers in what can best be described as one of the more interesting recruitments of the 2015 class. He was famously asked to leave an Auburn visit last January after he allegedly showed up wearing head-to-toe Vol gear and attempted to recruit other Auburn visitors to join him at Tennessee.
— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McVey is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers' fan who loves singing "Rocky Top" every opportunity he gets. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS