Randolph's Return Could Boost Tennessee Defense - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Randolph's Return Could Boost Tennessee Defense

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Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph (37) stop a run by North Carolina State wide receiver Quintin Payton (88) during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game in Atlanta on Aug. 31, 2012. (Knoxville News Sentinel) Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph (37) stop a run by North Carolina State wide receiver Quintin Payton (88) during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game in Atlanta on Aug. 31, 2012. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee safety Brian Randolph said he sometimes worried last year that he never would completely recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament that ended his 2012 season prematurely.

His fears apparently were unfounded.

Randolph, the Volunteers' leading tackler at the time of his injury, is back on the field participating in spring practice after tearing his ACL Sept. 15 in a 37-20 loss to Florida.

His return could rejuvenate a defense that ranked among the worst in school history last season. Tennessee gave up the most points (35.7) and yards (471.3) per game of any Southeastern Conference team last year.

Randolph's comeback boosts a safety unit that also returns Byron Moore and LaDarrell McNeil. Moore made five interceptions and had 86 tackles last year. McNeil started seven games.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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