KNOXVILLE (WVLT) - Tennessee defensive end Xavier Mitchell was cleared Wednesday to participate in contact drills during practice, five days after suffering a mild concussion while trying to make a tackle against California.
The Vol senior laid on the turf for several minutes after suffering the injury and was strapped to a board and carted off the field. He told VolunteerTV yesterday he was only sparingly conscious until he got to the hospital. The concussion is Mitchell's second in the span of one month.
Mitchell has extra motivation to play Saturday; he hails from Long Beach, Mississippi, an hour from Southern Miss's Hattiesburg campus, and he took an official visit to Southern Miss before choosing to attend Tennessee.
He told reporters he received 363 text messages and at least 30 voicemail messages -- his inbox's limit -- in the days following his injury. He said if it were up to him, he'd be playing Saturday, but that he would work with coaches and trainers to determine whether entering the game would be a prudent decision.
When the decision is made, VolunteerTV.com will have the latest information.