Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) -- If you're a Big Orange football fan you remember Pig Howard's near heroics that came up inches short against Georgia last year.
He's one of UT's most reliable targets, but he'll be missing from UT's spring football practice.
Head coach Butch Jones tells Local 8 Sports that wide receiver
Alton "Pig" Howard has been granted a leave of absence from the team.
The rising junior will miss time we're told for personal reasons. Coach Jones says he will continue to evaluate the situation with Howard and is certainly open to his return.
Pig was a key cog in the Vols offense last season averaging 4-catches per game. He caught nearly 400 yards worth of passes and rushed for another 93. He also scored 3-touchdowns.
Wide receiver is a deep position for the Vols with Marquez North, Josh Smith, Jason Croom, Devrin Young, junior college transfer Von Pearson as well as 5-star freshman Josh Malone on the roster.
Despite that depth, the Vols lose a great
deal of experience with Howard out of the lineup.
Coach Jones will address the situation further at his pre-Spring news conference Thursday.
Again, the vols open practice this Friday march the 7th.